Today, Mumbai is breathing its cleanest air in 3 years

Frequent showers and wind over the weekend dispersed pollutants, giving the city its most unpolluted air since air quality monitoring began in 2015 on Monday.

mumbai Updated: Jun 19, 2018 10:32 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai air,Mumbai AQI
Children enjoying rain on Carter Road, Bandra, on Sunday. The rainfall helped clear air pollutants.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Rain over the weekend not only brought Mumbaiites respite from the heat, but has also given the city its cleanest air since the monitoring of air pollution levels began in June 2015.

On Monday, the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) – a pollutant measuring indicator – was 18 for PM2.5 pollutant, which is small-sized pollutants up to 2.5 microns that can enter the lungs easily, and well within the ‘good’ limit. AQI up 50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401 and above is severe.

The concentration of PM2.5 pollutant on Monday was 11 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m3), compared to the 24-hour safe limit of 60µg/m3.

Levels of PM10 pollutant – larger particles of 10 micron size – was 18µg/m3, against the safe limit of 100µg/m3.

Researchers from the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), which measures AQI in the city, said the weather is responsible for the reduced pollution. “Active monsoon conditions over Mumbai, with rain over the weekend, dispersed pollutants closer to the surface. At the same time, high wind speed further cleansed the air,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR. “This is the lowest pollution levels on record for the city so far.”

The city had recorded an AQI of 52 (satisfactory) on Sunday. SAFAR has forecast an AQI of 64 (satisfactory) for Tuesday.

Mumbai’s air on Monday was much better than the three other Indian cities where SAFAR records air quality - Delhi with an AQI of 121 (moderate), Pune 42 (good), and Ahmedabad 136 (moderate). It was also cleaner than major international cities such as New York (AQI of 40), London (38), Paris (32), Sydney (22), Zurich (23), Moscow (53), Singapore (59) and Tokyo (78), according to data with AQICN.

Prior to Monday, the cleanest air day since monitoring began in 2015 was recorded on October 12, 2017, when AQI levels fell to 32 (good). Earlier this month, on June 4, Mumbai recorded an AQI of 34 (good).

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 16:57 IST