The overall AQI level of Mumbai was recorded at 263 on Thursday.
Mumbai: air quality remained ‘poor’ for yet another day with thick layer of haze over the city. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) level of Mumbai was recorded at 263 on Thursday, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). While the PM2.5 levels across the city have been recorded at being more than 300 at places, the Nitrogen Oxides (NO2) levels also soared up to 180 at various areas on Thursday against the standard limit of 100. Experts stated that prolonged increase of NO2 levels could cause respiratory problems for sensitive people.
NO2 gases are usually produced by the combustion of fuels in air at high temperatures, such as in car engines. These gases contribute to the formation of smog and acid rain. Among the four cities that SAFAR monitors, including Delhi and Ahmedabad that recorded ‘very poor’ and ‘poor’ AQI levels respectively, NO2 levels were seen highest in Mumbai.
“While the PM2.5 is the major pollutant in Mumbai, the NO2 levels had also increased in the city. The decline in the city’s air quality could be attributed to both pollution levels and weather condition,” said Gufran Beig, Project Director, SAFAR. The Asian Age had reported that the withdrawal of the western disturbances and increase in moisture levels have led to suspension of pollutants in the air.
Areas like Borivali, Bhandup, BKC, Mazag-aon and Navi Mumbai recorded ‘very poor’ AQI with PM2.5 levels highest in Mazagaon at 338. NO2 levels in Bhandup and BKC were recorded at 180 while Navi Mumbai recorded 117. All of these readings fall under ‘moderate’ levels. “When the NO2 levels are this high, it shows that the city needs to curb its vehicular and industrial pollution. The weather conditions are showing what is there in the air. The city needs to come up with a holistic transport system and reduce the number of private vehicles,” said Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner, Greenpeace.