After 3 months, city’s air quality slips to ‘very poor’ category again

After nearly three months, the city’s air quality index (AQI) rose to the “very poor” category on Thursday. According to the System for Weather Forecasting and Air Quality Research (SAFAR), the city’s AQI was 309 (very poor) on Thursday. Mumbai’s average AQI on Thursday was higher than Delhi’s (191) while Pune and Ahmedabad scored 276 and 297 on the index, respectively.

According to forecasts, the AQI in the country’s commercial capital is likely to remain in the “red” or “very poor” category on Friday. The AQI is likely to be in the “extremely weak” and “upper end of the poor” range over the next couple of days, SAFAR stated. With the exception of Worli, all weather stations in the city recorded an AQI of ‘extremely bad’ on Thursday. Malad was the most polluted city in the city with an al-Qaeda in Iraq rate of 353.

An AQI between 100 and 199 is considered ‘average’ and 50 and 99 as ‘satisfactory’ and less than 50 as ‘good’. Across the state, the proportion of “good air quality days” in 2020-2021 was 32%, while no “extremely or severely bad air quality days” were recorded. An air quality index above 200 is considered ‘Poor’, above 300 is ‘Very poor’, above 400 is ‘Severe’ and above 500 is ‘Severe +’.

AQI is the average of pollutants such as particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions as a single value. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and health concerns.

It is recorded by SAFAR by integrating air quality measurement with weather forecasts.

Experts said the high levels of pollution are due to two extreme weather conditions. Dr. Gufran Beig, Founder and Project Director of SAFAR, said, “Wind dust from the Thar region is unable to cross the low pressure area along the Mumbai coast, making Mumbai and Pune very polluted. There is high temperature in the northern hemisphere and low temperature after some showers. Before the monsoon in the southern part. Dust and smoke hang near the surface.”

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