Diwali effect stays as slow winds keep air quality poor
Mumbai: Saturday’s sluggish winds did not do much good to the city as the quality of air improved only marginally. While the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) had forecast the air quality index to improve to 221, it only went to 231 up to Saturday evening from Friday’s 242.
On the day after Diwali (Thursday November 8), Mumbai recorded an AQI of 305. An AQI between 301and 400 is considered very poor and people with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children should avoid exertion. On Friday, the air quality improved to 242, bringing it into the poor category, where people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. On Saturday, it continued to stay in the poor category.
“The slow dispersal of pollutants is due to slow wind speeds. This is normal for Mumbai during the winters,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR.
Among the 10 locations monitored by SAFAR, the most polluted continued to remain Andheri with an AQI of 379. It had recorded an AQI of 452 on the day after Diwali. The other locations which were in the very poor category (301 to 400) on Saturday were Mazgaon and Malad. The least polluted location was Chembur with an AQI of 82.
SAFAR has forecast the overall AQI to improve only marginally to 229 on Sunday. The air quality is expected to go into the moderate category (101 to 200) only after a couple of days.