City air quality remains in ‘poor’ category

Mumbai’s Air Quality Index (AQI) continued to stay in the “poor” category on Thursday, with the overall AQI level of the city being recorded at 259 by the System of Air Quality Forecast and Research (SAFAR).

Mazagaon showed the worse AQI level of 328 (very poor), followed by 301 in Malad, 252 in Colaba, 232 in Borivli and BKC, 221 in Chembur and 168 in Andheri. Worli had the best AQI of 108 while Bhandup in the eastern suburbs had an AQI of 118. Data also showed that the primary constituents were PM2.5 components, which are air particulate matters that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre. The PM2.5 components comprise burn residues, dust particles and components discharged from vehicular emissions.

Throughout last week, Mumbai had recorded an AQI in the moderate category, while on November 6, the level was at 128. While attributing the worsening AQI to the change in weather, weather experts have said that the AQI may improve by end of the weekend.

“Currently, there is a drop in temperature in Mumbai, which has led to development of mist and haze. These conditions enhance pollution and since the airspeed is also very low, the pollutants don’t disperse easily from the lower atmosphere,” said Mahesh Palawat from Skymet Weathers Private Limited.

Palawat added that the areas that are recording heavy traffic and low wind speed is comparatively showing worse AQI.

“Towards the weekend, north-easterlies will start blowing, which may better the AQI by some margin, though pollutants will be there. Yet the air quality will improve due to dispersal of particulate matters, which will happen due to increased wind speed,” he said.

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