City’s air quality was poorer than Delhi which reported AQI at 249.
According to SAFAR, while Delhi’s air quality has improved, Mumbai’s air has slightly become poorer than Thursday (308).
Delhi is considered as one of the most polluted cities in the world. In the background of rising vehicle pollution, citizens have requested BMC to restore its old practice of washing roads using primarily treated sewage or sea water to curb air pollution.
Reacting to BMC commissioner I S Chahal’s statement, a senior MPCB official said all the refineries and plants that have chimneys in Mahul, Chembur and surrounding industrial areas have taken corrective measures by controlling the emissions and have also installed air-purifying and smoke-filtering systems.
He said their vigilance suggested that the treatment being given to the discharges was up to the mark.
“Since the normal wind speed has dropped below 10kmph as against the normal average of 30kmph, the smoke and dust from vehicles, garbage, industries and construction sites was getting stagnated in the lower atmosphere resulting in the pollution,” another MPCB official said pointing out that once the wind speed improves, the haze will go away to appear a clear sky.
According to BMC chief, one of the main reasons for the city’s ‘very poor’ air quality was the rise in emissions from petroleum refineries. However, when contacted, their officials refused to even comment.
One of the officials from the refineries said they had already taken corrective measures to install a mechanism to purify the smoke and air.
Meanwhile to Chahal’s rejection to the social media comments on how large-scale construction across the city, including infrastructure projects such as coastal road, Metro railway and road works, were responsible for the spike in pollution levels, citizens pointed out that the trucks and other vehicles coming out of the metro, bridge and other real estate construction sites were carrying large amounts of clay and dust with their tyres.
According to them, there are clear instructions to all the contractors on these sites to wash the tires before the vehicles come out of the sites.
In the backdrop of the G20 presidency meeting scheduled in Mumbai, Chahal has raised the issue with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas so that some measures for reduction in the emission levels of refineries could be immediately put in place.
Given the low wind speed, vehicular pollution, garbage burning and dust pollution, experts said, the AQI is likely to remain ‘very poor’ for another couple of days, triggering a health alert for Mumbaikars, especially those with respiratory issues.
AQI is based on the concentration of carcinogenic particulate matter (PM2.5) in air. AQI levels for PM2.5 below 50 are considered ‘good’, 50-99 ‘satisfactory’, 100-199 ‘moderate’, above 200 ‘poor’, above 300 ‘very poor’, above 400 ‘severe’ and above 500 ‘very severe’. Among the locations monitored by SAFAR, the most polluted location on Friday were Mazagaon with an AQI of 332, followed by Chembur (316), BKC (283), Malad (256), Bhandup (228), Colaba (201), and Andheri (183).