Air qual­ity worst recorded in city

In­dex reads ‘very poor’; it is likely to get worse over the week­end

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Badri Chat­ter­jee badri.chat­ter­jee@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: Pol­lu­tion in the city rose to its high­est lev­els since air qual­ity data mon­i­tor­ing be­gan last June. The Sys­tem of Air Qual­ity Weather Fore­cast­ing and Re­search (SAFAR), which has been tak­ing read­ings at 10 lo­ca­tions in Mum­bai, mea­sured the air qual­ity in­dex (AQI) at 325, which falls in the ‘very poor’ cat­e­gory, on Fri­day morn­ing. By evening, it rose to 341, which was equal to Delhi’s. The pre­vi­ous high­est pol­lu­tion level was recorded at 313 on the day af­ter Di­wali, Novem­ber 12, 2015.

What’s more: Mum­bai’s air qual­ity is likely to worsen fur­ther over the week­end, with SAFAR pre­dict­ing an AQI of 343 for Satur­day.

A health ad­vi­sory is­sued by SAFAR on Fri­day morn­ing said, “Peo­ple sen­si­tive to air pol­lu­tion are ad­vised to re­main in­doors and ev­ery­one is ad­vised to use pol­lu­tion masks.”

Of the 10 lo­ca­tions in the city, Malad was the most pol­luted on Fri­day as it recorded an AQI of 417, which falls in the ‘ se­vere’ cat­e­gory, fol­lowed by And­heri and Chem­bur both of which had AQI of 369, fall­ing un­der the ‘very poor’ cat­e­gory. All other lo­ca­tions recorded ei­ther ‘ very poor’ or ‘poor’ air qual­ity lev­els.

Of­fi­cials from SAFAR said there was a 50% in­crease in pol­lu­tion lev­els from Mon­day to Fri­day. “Low tem­per­a­tures along with a rise in mois­ture lev­els since Thurs­day have be­gun trap­ping pol­lu­tants closer to the earth’s sur­face, push­ing the AQI to the high­est lev­els. As the winds are calm and hardly have any speed, pol­lu­tants are un­able to dis­perse,” said Gufran Beig, pro­ject di­rec­tor, SAFAR.

CON­TIN­UED ON P12

RE­LATED RE­PORT, P7

VI­JAYANAND GUPTA/ HT

Mum­bai wit­nessed heavy smog for a se­cond con­sec­u­tive day on Fri­day.

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