Why has pollution in Mumbai increased suddenly?
Mumbai’s air wire is getting damaged. There is a possibility of an increase in diseases due to dust particles in the atmosphere of Mumbai. The air quality in Mumbai has become even worse than that of Delhi. Surrounded by the Indian Ocean on three sides and separated from the mainland by Thane Creek and Harbor Bay, Mumbai is India’s largest city, with an even larger metropolitan area home to nearly 21 million people.
Mumbai’s Air Quality Index (AQI) nearly fell into the ‘Very Poor’ category early last month of this year. The AQI recorded on the Air Quality Research and Forecasting System (SAFAR) dashboard showed 293 on Sunday night, which is considered ‘Poor’ and only eight points outside of the ‘Very Poor’ category. The drop comes after the city posted a ‘good’ AQI of 41 last week.
Reason behind increased pollution
The main reasons behind increased pollution in Mumbai, are emissions from traffic, construction operations, dust from paved and unpaved roads, landfills, open burning of garbage, and industries are among the major sources of pollution.
Another main reason behind the increase in pollution in Mumbai is the burning of waste, which pollutes the air. Power-generating plants are the biggest contributor to air pollution in Mumbai. An additional source of air pollution is dust thrown up by vehicles. There are still regions where dirt roads are common and have become a source of airborne particulate matter.
In 2019, Mumbai recorded 6% of total days with very low AQI compared to 1-5% in 2017-18 according to the SAFAR report, but today it is observed that AQI in Mumbai in various places remains the constant process of deterioration, it worst air quality this season as the AQI increased to 348 (very poor).
Maha could enter ‘highly vulnerable’ red zone
The new year may not bring good news for the state of Maharashtra. By 2023, aerosol pollution in Maharashtra is projected to move from its current ‘vulnerable’ orange zone to the ‘highly vulnerable’ red zone. Currently, the state falls under the ‘vulnerable’ category – orange zone – with aerosol optical depth (AOD) between 0.4-0.5.
AOD, whose values range from 0 to 0.1, is the quantitative estimate of aerosol present in the atmosphere and can be used as an indirect measure of PM2.5.
The study, an in-depth look at state-level aerosol pollution in India, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Elsevier in August, mentions that if Maharashtra enters the red category, the AOD will be higher than 0.5. He adds that the state may witness an ODA increase of around 7% between 2019 and 2023.
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