Mumbai air may be worse than usual this DiwaliTNN | Oct 29, 2016, 12.53 PM IST
Mumbai air may be worse than usual this Diwali
Diwali might not bring a lot of cheer for the city's air, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).Air quality , measured by the level of the main pollutant, particulate material 2.5 (PM 2.5, particles that measure less than 2.5 microns) is expected to remain in the `poor' and `very poor' category during festival days. The air is expected to be more polluted compared to last year.
SAFAR has forecast that Diwali day (Sunday) is expected to record an air quality index (AQI) of 235. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered to be poor and people with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children are at risk. The following day , the condition is expected to worsen with an AQI forecast of 334. An AQI above 300 is considered to be very poor which means children, elderly and people with lung disease may find it difficult to breathe.
"Due to increased local emissions, there will be an increase of PM 10 and PM 2.5 in Mumbai. The most striking factor is the share of PM 2.5 (relatively more harmful than coarser particles) in PM 10 is expected to increase by 10-20% during the Diwali period, compared to normal days. The share of PM 2.5 will become 60-70%," said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR.
AFAR calculates the air quality index at 10 locations in the city jointly with IITM, India Meteorological Department and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting and local corporations. According to the forecast, Nerul is expected to be the most polluted while Colaba will be relatively cleaner than the rest.
Wind speeds will play a crucial role in cleaning up the city's air after the festival. "Winds in Mumbai until October 28 were south-westerly and remain the same during Diwali. The minimum temperature will increase by at least 2-3 degrees Celsius within a week. Wind speed may decrease slightly on October 29," said SAFAR's forecast.
Meanwhile, anti-noise crusaders have written to the city police after the deadline for bursting firecrackers on Sunday was extended to midnight."The Bombay High Court dated October 5, 2006, states that in our view, the state government and the police commissioner ought to take appropriate steps to inform the citizens that use of firecrackers is not permitted even on the two days i.e. Dhantrayodashi and Laxmipujan, beyond 10pm. The relaxation is available only with respect to loudspeakers and public address system between 10pm and 12 midnight on the aforesaid two days, but that is not for the use of sound-emitting firecrackers," said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor, Awaaz Foundation, in her letter to the police chief.
However, the Mumbai Police on Friday in a statement clarified bursting of crackersis allowed from 6am to 10pm only (for all days of Diwali). " As per the government order, on the day of Laxmipujan use of loudspeakers is allowed till 12 am," said the Mumbai Police PRO.
Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.