Mumbai’s air quality situation improves amidst lockdown: But is this sustainable?

Mumbai’s air quality situation improves amidst lockdown: But is this sustainable?

A lockdown is never easy for anyone, particularly people who are used to going to an office every day. However, it seems like not taking our private vehicles outside has a positive consequence after all. As evidenced by air quality data available from the past two months, Mumbai’s air quality has improved significantly.

While the weather of Maharashtra has been somewhat tumultuous with thunderstorms reported in several parts of the state, Mumbai may not experience any major repercussions from this. Recent figures recorded at the Santacruz observatory by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reveal that Mumbai may see some cloud cover over the next few days with a slight chance of rain. 

As for air quality, Mumbai scored 99 on the air quality index (AQI) on March 24. A figure between 50-100 is considered satisfactory. Within Mumbai, the area of Bandra Kurla Complex saw the lowest AQI of 65 among all the cities in the state. 

Also Read - After A Good Start, Air Quality In Mumbai Dips Again 

Go back around two months to January and you’ll find reports about how Mumbai’s air quality is getting worse with each passing day. While that’s no longer the case, one can hope that this serves as an inspiration to better our environment in the coming years. Pollution has been a major concern in metropolitan cities due to the heavy influx of private vehicles. 

Perhaps authorities can consider the implementation of carbon taxing which has proven to work in several parts of the world. On the other hand, the BMC and MMRDA are undertaking multiple public infrastructure projects including new metro lines to increase connectivity between key areas of the city. 

Hopefully, this should encourage more citizens to ditch their private vehicles and use the facilities available when the lockdown ends. Best of all, it’s cost-effective too. There’s no doubt that it is going to be a real challenge for Mumbaikars to collectively come together to combat air pollution in the city, but it just has to be done.