The Coronavirus Effect: Mumbai air quality improves

With the curfew imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are nearly no vehicles on Mumbai roads. This has helped Mumbaikars witness an improvement in the city's air quality

The Coronavirus Effect: Mumbai air quality improves

The air quality in Mumbai has improved over the last week. The improvement in air pollution levels can be attributed to the reduction in vehicular traffic. There is a state-wide curfew in place to contain the spread of nCOVID-19.

According to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the city's overall Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded on March 24 morning was 99. As per the air quality standards, an AQI between 51 and 100 is considered to be satisfactory.

The concentration of the Particulate Matter 2.5 was recorded 57 microgrammes per cubic metre (g/m³) on Monday. The World Health Organisation 24-hour average safe limit of PM 2.5 is 60 g/m³.

The SAFAR team monitored 10 locations in Mumbai and neighbouring areas. The least polluted among them was the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) with an AQI of 65. The Bandra-Kurla Complex is considered to be one of the most polluted regions in the city. They also observed that Navi Mumbai had recorded an AQI of 182 and the most polluted region was Mazgaon with AQI of 186.

Currently, only vehicles carrying employees working in companies that are classified as essential services or one engaged in delivering essential goods are allowed to ply. However, there are reports that even these vehicles had to face some issue as police was not allowing them to pass. CM Uddhav Thackeray has asked police officers to allow smooth passage for these vehicles especially the ones that have a sticker of the organisation on their windshield.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a countrywide lockdown for 21 days starting from midnight on March 25, people in parts of Maharashtra including Mumbai were seen panic shopping. This resulted in crowding at markets and shops to stock up essential products. 

After which, CM Thackeray urged citizens to not panic over the nationwide lockdown and assured that there is enough food grain stock in the state. 

Read this story in मराठी