The quality of air continues to deteriorate in the city, with System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) recording an air quality index (AQI) of 275 on Wednesday, the highest since Diwali last year. The AQI during Diwali was 319.
The AQI levels have continued to worsen over the last four days, with today’s AQI level also being the year’s highest. The AQI for Tuesday was 271.
The city also woke up a smoggy morning due to dust from construction, vehicular pollution, and road work. According to SAFAR, the AQI level could go as high as 282 on Thursday.
An AQI level of 0-100 is considered good and satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 severe.
Worryingly, PM 2.5 levels at various parts of the city like Colaba, Mazgaon, BKC, Bhandup, Borivali and Navi Mumbai crossed the 300 mark today. As a result, a thick haze was reported in these areas in the morning.
According to SAFAR Project Director Dr. Gufran Beig, the poor air quality was a result of the withdrawal of western disturbances.
“Moisture makes the air heavy, and increases its capacity to hold particulate pollutants, making the air smoggy,” he told The Hindu, adding that the air quality is expected to remain poor till Friday.
The weather bureau has also predicted a rise in night temperatures owing to the increase in moisture levels.
The Santacruz weather station recorded a minimum temperature of 19 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, while the Colaba weather station recorded 21 degrees Celsius, around 2 degrees above normal.
On Wednesday, Santacruz recorded 21.5 degrees Celsius and Colaba recorded 23 degrees Celsius, around 4 degrees above normal.