Pollution rises in city even pre-Di­wali Army de­stroys four Pak posts across LoC in mas­sive as­sault

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Badri Chat­ter­jee badri.chat­ter­jee@hin­dus­tan­times.com (Poor) (Poor) 309 298 297 291 227 201 196 310 293 300 301 225 200 197 HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Seven out of 10 lo­ca­tions in Mumbai recorded high pollution lev­els a day be­fore Di­wali on Satur­day. While Navi Mumbai was the most polluted on the out­skirts of Mumbai, with an air qual­ity in­dex (AQI) — pol­lu­tant mea­sur­ing in­di­ca­tor — of 309 (‘very poor’ cat­e­gory), ar­eas such as Ban­dra-Kurla Com­plex (BKC), And­heri, Maz­gaon, Malad, Worli, Chem­bur and Borivli recorded ‘poor’ AQI lev­els.

AQI lev­els be­tween 201 and 300 fall un­der the ‘poor’ cat­e­gory and 301 and 400 un­der ‘very poor’, in­di­cat­ing a health risk for peo­ple sen­si­tive to air pollution.

On Fri­day, the Sys­tem for Air Qual­ity Weather Fore­cast­ing and Re­search (SAFAR) pre­dicted that the city is ex­pected to record an AQI as high as 334 a day after Di­wali, as com­pared to 313 recorded a day after Di­wali in 2015, which was one of the most polluted days in Mumbai last year.

The city also sur­passed the air qual­ity pre­dicted by SAFAR for Satur­day. Mumbai recorded an AQI of 245 dur­ing the day and it in­creased to 253 by evening, both fall­ing un­der the ‘poor’ cat­e­gory.

Re­searchers from SAFAR said there was go­ing to be no change in the fore­cast for Di­wali and sub­se­quent days from Fri­day.

The Army said on Satur­day it de­stroyed four Pak­istani posts in a “mas­sive” as­sault across the Line of Con­trol in north Kash­mir’s Kup­wara dis­trict, ratch­et­ing up hos­til­i­ties with the neigh­bour a day after an In­dian soldier’s body was mu­ti­lated by mil­i­tants.

“Four Pak­istani posts have been de­stroyed in a mas­sive fire as­sault in Keran sec­tor,” an army of­fi­cial said.

Heavy ca­su­al­ties have been in­flicted on the Pak­istani side, he said, without giv­ing fur­ther de­tails.

The In­dian strike is seen as a re­tal­i­a­tion to cease­fire vi­o­la­tions by Pak­istani troops in the Keran sec­tor ear­lier in the day, in which one BSF jawan and a civil­ian Union min­is­ter Ji­ten­dra Singh (left) of­fer­ing sweets to BSF jawans dur­ing a visit to the bor­der vil­lage of Ra­pura, J&K, on Satur­day.

woman were in­jured.

The de-facto bor­der with Pak­istan has re­mained tense since a mil­i­tant at­tack on an army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kash­mir in Septem­ber left 19 sol­diers dead. In­dia

re­tal­i­ated by car­ry­ing out what the gov­ern­ment termed “sur­gi­cal strikes” across the LoC and de­stroyed sev­eral mil­i­tant launch pads in Pak­istanoc­cu­pied Kash­mir.

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