People living in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai have been breathing polluted air, which falls under the “poor to severe” category for a considerable number of observations throughout 2013-14, found a report on the air quality status of Maharashtra, published by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).
The heavy fog enveloping the city during early mornings is an ominous indicator of Navi Mumbai & Mumbai’s deteriorating air quality. Official readings since mid-January evidence that owing to cooler weather and bustle of vehicles and construction, the pollution levels have surpassed the standard limits by two-fold.
According to Mumbai Pollution Control Board logs, pollution levels—particularly nitrogen oxide (NOx) and suspended particulate matter (SPM) —have been exceptionally pernicious the past few days. On January 16, for instance, SPM shot up to as high as 286 micrograms per cubic metre. On January 6, NOx was recorded at 211 micrograms per cubic metre.
“Anything above 100 micrograms of SPM and 80 micrograms of NOx in a cubic metre of air is bad for human health,” said an MPCB official. Sounding a disquieting note, he added that in certain parts of the city pollution levels are perennially higher than the standard limits.”