Mumbai News

Mumbai to experience ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ air quality in coming years, say experts – The Hindu

Experts have warned that Mumbai is likely to experience an increasing number of days with ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ air quality in the coming years during winter months, but Mumbai’s air pollution is likely to see a dip in the coming days after the wind speed is expected to pick up after cyclone Mandous.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) data for Mumbai from November 1 to December 10, 2022, recorded using the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) mobile application shows Malad, Chembur, and Mazgaon were the three most polluted areas. 

The analysis of the prevailing poor air quality in Mumbai by SAFAR shows that emission levels from industries may not be the single factor responsible for poor air quality during November and December 2022. One cannot neglect emissions from construction activities in the city, which have led to high air pollution.

Dr. Gufran Beig, Founder and Project Director, SAFAR said, “The visibility across Mumbai has taken a hit. This means that both fine and coarse particulate matter is high in Mumbai’s air. If industries or refineries are the major sources of air pollution, then only the fine particulate matter or PM2.5 would have been high. Thus, it is construction dust (part of residential emissions) which has led to an increase in Pm2.5 and PM10, worsening Mumbai’s air quality.”

According to a study done by SAFAR, 30% of Mumbai’s pollution is contributed by the transport sector, 18% by industries, 20% by biofuel or residential emissions, 15% by windblown dust and the remaining is weather-related factors, including sea salt. 

Anjal Prakash, Research Director, Indian School of Business said, “Mumbai’s air quality has dipped to unhealthy levels, which is very concerning for the health of its citizens. Scientists believe that global warming and climate change are accelerating such rapidly changing environmental conditions, and examples of this are being witnessed across cities like Mumbai with such sudden and prolonged deterioration of air quality.”