Mumbai's air quality on Monday was the worst the city has seen in the new year, with the air quality index (AQI) at 253, according to the government's System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
At 253, air quality is said to be "poor" and "very unhealthy", according to the US Consulate Mumbai. "Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected" is how the US Consulate Mumbai describes "poor" air quality level.
Hindustan Times reported that prior to Monday, Mumbai had recorded a moderate air quality level of 190 on Sunday. During the first week of January, AQI in the city ranged between 216 and 240.
In fact, the air quality on Monday was close to the worst AQI for the entire winter season in Mumbai, which was 258, recorded on 25 December.
The Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) was the most polluted area in Mumbai, its air quality at a staggering 313.
The silver lining, however, is that SAFAR predicted an AQI of 172 for Tuesday.
"Wind speeds are normal and temperatures are higher than the past few days. Pollution levels are increasing due to an external source which could be due burning of wood during festivals over the weekend," The Times of India quoted Gufran Beig, project director at SAFAR, as saying.
On 18 December, PTI had reported that the government formulated a national clear air programme to tackle increasing air pollution across the country in a comprehensive manner.
Environment minister Harsh Vardhan in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha had said that the Centre has formulated the National Clear Air Programme (NCAP). "The government has formulated the NCAP as a long term time-bound national level strategy to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner," he had said.
The minister had said that the objective is to augment and evolve an effective ambient air quality monitoring network across the country, besides ensuring a comprehensive management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.
"The NCAP focuses on a collaborative and participatory approach comprising all sources of pollution and coordination between relevant central ministries, state governments, local bodies and other stakeholders," he had said.
With inputs from PTI View More