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Mumbai's air quality remains moderate despite seasonal dip

Updated on: 24 December,2023 10:55 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Mumbai has been facing bad air for a long time now. Air quality gets worse in winter, raising concerns about people's health. As of December 24, air quality was moderate, with AQI at 159.

Mumbai's air quality remains moderate despite seasonal dip

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Mumbai has been struggling with bad air for a long time now. Although the city has seen some improvement in recent years, the air quality gets worse in the winter months. This has raised concerns about how it might affect people's health in the long term.

As of Sunday, December 24, Mumbai's air quality was 'moderate' and the Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 159. Several areas of the city recorded 'moderate' air quality with a few exceptions. 

According to the data collated by the Central Pollution Control Board's SAMEER App, Borivali recorded satisfactory air quality while Bandra Kurla Complex, Malad and Shivaji Nagar were reeling with poor air quality. The AQI of Borivali stood at 92 while Malad, Shivaji Nagar and BKC recorded AQI 280, 257 and 244 respectively.

Meanwhile, Thane had inched nearer to poor air quality with AQI standing at 194. Navi Mumbai was not far from Thane with an AQI of 187. Sanpada and Kalamboli nodes in the satellite city recorded poor air quality with AQI at 219 and 258 respectively. 

The air quality index from 0 to 100 is considered 'good', 100 to 200 'moderate', 200 to 300 'poor', 300 to 400 'very poor' and from 400 to 500 or above 'severe'.

Seasonal fluctuations and persisting challenges

Air pollution in Mumbai typically worsens during the winter months (November to February) due to a lack of rainfall, which usually acts as a natural air cleanser. This year, the city experienced a period of particularly poor air quality in November, with some areas exceeding the "very unhealthy" category on the US AQI scale.

While the current AQI levels offer some respite, experts warn against complacency. The primary pollutant of concern in Mumbai is PM2.5, fine particulate matter with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres. These microscopic particles can lodge deep into the lungs, causing respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer.

Mumbai weather

Meanwhile, Christmas in Mumbai and its neighbouring areas will be warm, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated. Reportedly, the maximum temperature is anticipated to reach 32 to 33 degrees Celsius on both December 24 and 25. And the weather is going to be warmer post-Christmas as well. 

IMD, in their bulletin, said, "There will be a gradual rise by 2-3 degrees Celsius during the next two days (December 24 and December 25) and then fall by 1-2 degrees during subsequent three days over Konkan-Goa, Madhya Maharashtra and Marathwada. There will be a rise in minimum temperature by 2-3 degrees Celsius over Vidarbha for the next 48 hours, thereafter, no large change in subsequent days over Vidarbha."

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