The city’s population of 19 million is at severe health risk from the polluted air.
Mumbai: The city reeled under poor air quality in February this year, with air quality index (AQI) levels plunging to 275 on February 7.
Pollutant levels recorded in Mumbai were higher than those in Delhi, which had an AQI level of 218. According to experts, poor air quality was due to suspension of dust particles in the air over the city and suburbs from heavy traffic and construction work at several places. Also reported earlier that the city saw an increase in PM10 between 2015 and 2016, mostly from road dust. An official from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board said, “Mumbai still needs to work on improvement of its roads. Moreover, due to ongoing development projects, dust particles remain suspended in the air for a longer time.”
In 2016, the city recorded an annual PM10 mean of 104 micrograms per cubic metre as against the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard limit of 20. Mumbai also recorded an annual PM2.5 mean of 64 in 2016.
A report by Greenpeace India stated that Mumbai recorded the highest monthly average in the state, with PM10 values remaining more than three times above the annual limit during December 2016. The city’s population of 19 million is at severe health risk from the polluted air.