With no rain over last week, Mumbai sees gradual rise in pollution

Of the 10 areas in the city where SAFAR monitors AQI, BKC recorded the worst AQI at 220 (poor), followed by Andheri at 140 (moderate), and Chembur at 124 (moderate).

WITH THE city not witnessing any rain over the last week, pollution levels have witnessed a gradual increase. On Tuesday, the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) recorded the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 110, which falls in the moderate category. The AQI is predicted to rise on Wednesday.

Of the 10 areas in the city where SAFAR monitors AQI, BKC recorded the worst AQI at 220 (poor), followed by Andheri at 140 (moderate), and Chembur at 124 (moderate).

SAFAR categorises AQI for particulate matter 2.5 in the 0-50 range as good, 51-100 as satisfactory, 101-200 as moderate, 201-300 as poor; 301-400 as very poor and above 400 as severe.

SAFAR’s Navi Mumbai station has also recorded an increase in pollution levels over the last four days. On Tuesday, it recorded an AQI of 294 and forecast a similar condition for Wednesday. The pollutants are set to reduce on Thursday, when Navi Mumbai is likely to witness an AQI of 249 and Mumbai of 89.

“With the onset of winter, air quality has begun to deteriorate. As winter sets in, PM concentration in the air will rise as lower temperatures cause pollutants to get trapped closer to the earth’s surface, leading to an increase in the pollution levels,” said SAFAR project director Gufran Beig.

During monsoon, the city had witnessed an average AQI of below 50, as extremely high moisture, combined with heavy rain, had washed away pollutants. At 2, Navi Mumbai had witnessed the best AQI of the year on September 4. Mumbai had recorded an AQI of 12 the same day. With post-monsoon showers, the city continued to experience good air quality in September and the first week of October. An AQI of 111 was recorded in the city on October 16.

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