The dip in temperature is likely to increase Mumbai’s air pollution levels further. City’s air quality was categorised as “poor” on Saturday as the air quality index (AQI) increased from 267 on Friday to 287. Experts pointed out that the dip in temperature is likely to get worse in the coming days as low temperatures and low wind speed entrap pollutants.
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According to officials, high pollution levels witnessed during the night due to a drop in temperatures, which is usually experienced in January and February, have begun as early as November this year.
Over the past six days this week, temperatures have dropped to as low as five degrees below normal.
The Regional Meteorological Centre in Mumbai showed that the minimum temperature in Mumbai was 17 degrees centigrade. The AQI in Mumbai deteriorated to 257 on Thursday evening while it was 242 on Wednesday. The AQI is recorded by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), which is run by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology with the support of India Meteorological Department.
The data for Saturday reveals that Malad had the worst air at 325, while BKC and Andheri were at 308. Meanwhile, neighbouring Navi Mumbai was worse than Mumbai with an AQI of 314.
An AQI between 200 and 300 is considered poor. People with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion during such pollution. Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) officials had on Thursday said ten more air monitoring centres will soon be set up in the city.
Mumbai has two air quality monitoring centres run by MPCB, and nine others operated by SAFAR. With ten additional air monitoring centres, the tally will be pushed to 21. There are at least seven privately run air monitoring systems in the city, located across industrial areas like Chembur.