The Mumbai’s overall air quality index too improved during the lockdown.
MUMBAI: If you’ve been taking in bouts of fresh air of late, you better be thankful to the lockdown. Why, even the din and cacophony omnipresent in your city has dipped. There’s more — air quality index was the best on Thursday, a day after Cyclone Nisarga made downfall in Raigad.
On the eve of World Environment Day, the BMC released a report stating that the concentration of pollutants in the city dipped significantly during the lock down compared to previous months. This has been corroborated by another study done by an independent research group, Urban Emissions Mumbai ( see graphic alongside).
The BMC on Thursday evening unveiled its report on pollution levels in the city during the lock down months of March, April and May visa-vis levels in January and February. The report says that the five main culprits that cause pollution — PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 microns), PM2.5, CO, O3, NO2 — decreased sharply during the lock down months. This finding is based on analysis of data picked up from 10 pollution-monitoring stations in the city. The data was put out by System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research, also called Safar.
The city’s overall air quality index too improved during the lockdown. The report said that the level of pollution in Mumbai has come down significantly due to the closure of construction sector, transportation, industries. “Reflecting on the past 10 years, it is certain that these are largely responsible for the increase in environmental pollution…” the report sid, adding, “Although there are many laws for pollution control, the industry needs to make environmental changes in itself to protect the environment.”
Sarath Guttikunda, director of Urban Emissions, said, “We know the air pollution sources and now, we have to take that extra step to make these sources clean.”
Cyclone Nisarg brought down the city’s air quality index on Thursday to 17 — the lowest this year.
This will sound like music to your ears. Noise pollution levels also remained low during the lock down, according to Awaaz Foundation, an NGO. “The decibel level of 52.6dB (decibels) in March, 56.4dB in April and 52.9dB in May were recorded in a residential area in Bandra (west). Levels in the same area in past months were between 85dB and 100dB,” said Sumaira Abdulaliof the NGO.
Environment groups in the state have launched a campaign, #saalbhar60, demands that the government put in place measures to reduce pollution levels in cities.