The city’s air quality index was ‘moderate to poor’ in May, and just got upgraded to ‘good’ in the past two days, according to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) installed in the city. Similarly, until June 9, UV radiation in the city was in the ‘moderate to high risk’ range, the two-month data collected for the SAFAR project showed.
Mumbaikars can now choose the least polluted route to office using the government’s new air quality and weather forecasting app. The SAFAR app, launched on Tuesday, provides location-specific current and three-day advance forecast on air quality parameters in terms of an air quality index, besides ultraviolet radiation and weather data.
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During heavy rainfall days, the app will also provide alerts on extreme weather events and extreme pollution day. The app is developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, and the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan and CM Devendra Fadnavis launched the app and the website.
“This app has cast a responsibility in the state to make the safar (journey) suhana (pleasant) for Mumbaikars, not suffer. The last week’s rainfall and resultant chaos shows us how important proper forecasting is. So, besides this project, we plan to install 2,069 automatic weather systems in every revenue circle,” said Fadnavis.
It will provide information on levels of particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, Ultraviolet radiation, mercury, benzene, toulene, xylene, and weather data such as rainfall, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction of a particular area. Two air quality monitoring stations are currently being installed in Colaba and Bhandup, as well as 10 automatic weather stations at places like Borivali, Malad-Malvani, Bhandup, Versova, Andheri, Sakinaka, Kurla, Dharavi etc. These digital display boards will be in Marathi and English.