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Mumbai’s Air quality deteriorates, worst than Delhi

Mumbai has been ranked the second most polluted city in the world and the most polluted city in India, within a week between January 29th and February 8th, according to the AQI data of the IQAir website. On the 29th of January, Mumbai was ranked in the 10th position for the most polluted cities, but the city took the 2nd position on the 2nd of February. Mumbai’s air quality has been ranked ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ between November and January. This month, Mumbai’s maximum overall air quality index (AQI) stood at 283 (poor).


Between November to January 2022-23, the air quality had noticeably fallen. There are various reasons for this sharp decrease in air quality. Experts blame the dust from various construction sites and pollutants released from vehicles for the high air pollution. These factors combined with lowered wind speed across the west coast due to the La Nina effect contributed to the deteriorating air quality. According to Reports released by SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research), the reason for the poor air quality is due to the increase in cloud fraction over Mumbai and Pune. This resulted in the reduction of cooling during the night, and hence, the minimum temperature has also increased. 


Furthermore, between Mumbai and Delhi’s air quality, Mumbai has surpassed Delhi’s air pollution. Mumbai’s air quality is ranked ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ while Delhi’s air quality is ranked ‘moderate’. Delhi was previously the most polluted city in India. Delhi has a disadvantage in this case since it is landlocked from all sides. Compared to this, Mumbai is a coastal city and has the advantage of natural cleansing. The stronger surface wind blows away the pollutants and brings in the fresh air. Mumbai is suffering due to climate change patterns. The temperature is high and there are more incidents of extreme weather.


The La Nina phenomenon in Mumbai has been delayed this year due to the cleaner sea wind reversal in the city and surrounding areas. This affected the natural cleansing mechanism of the city and there were more pollutants in the air due to high-flying dust emissions. Besides, the import of transboundary pollution from more polluted regions due to wind pattern changes has added to Mumbai’s falling air quality.


IQAir is a Swiss air tracking Index and a real-time worldwide air quality monitor. They measure the pollution from India specifically by using the data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The cities are categorized into 'healthy', unhealthy, and 'hazardous' as per US air quality index (AQI) standards, which are more stringent than in India.


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Tags: #India #delhi #mumbai #airpollution #mumbaiairpollution


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