After witnessing a significant drop in the air quality of Mumbai on Monday, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) officials explained it as a result of higher temperatures. “The temperatures were five degrees above normal Monday. As a result, particulate matters were stuck in the atmosphere. The skyline was also hazy through the day. We have generally been observing better air quality,” said V M Motghare, joint director, MPCB.
The Air Quality Index (AQI), measured by the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), was observed to be 105, which is categorised as ‘moderate’. The AQI for the city has been ‘good’ for most of the monsoon months.
However, the AQI improved to ‘satisfactory’ Tuesday as the PM10 was noted as 88 and PM 2.5 as 55. The city can expect similar pollution levels for the next two days. Chembur, Mazagaon and Navi Mumbai recorded the worst levels in the city — 115, 101 and 128, respectively.
“While the levels are better than yesterday, it is still below national ambient air quality standard, which is 60 for PM2.5 and 100 for PM10,” explained a SAFAR official.
Speaking about the preventive steps to ensure better air quality, Motghare said, “The ‘Clean Air Maharashtra Resolve 2022’ aims to make the state pollution-free by 2022 by adopting various pollution control measures. We took the resolve last month and have both short- and long-term goals.” Environmentalists are hoping the ‘resolve’ plan would be holistic.
“It is good that they have a plan but it will be better if they first study all the pollutants and their causes and then make a plan for each of them. Water and air pollution are linked due to the evaporation process. It continues to be a cycle. They need to address these factors,” said Sumaira Abdulali, an anti-pollution activist.