Mumbai Air Quality Worsens As Construction Activities Rise


Residents of Mumbai have been breathing unhealthy air and the quality is deteriorating over the years. Despite being a coastal city, Mumbai is climbing up on the pollution list.

A recent report by the World Health Organisation ranked Mumbai as the fourth most-polluted mega city of the world, and 63rd among 400 most polluted cities of the world.

The disappearing green cover of the city is giving space to more buildings to come up and with the heightened construction across the city, it is paving way for more pollutants to get trapped in the air, say experts.

“Yes, pollution in Mumbai is increasing,” said Debi Goenka, environmentalist, Centre for Conservation Action Trust. “Because of the construction of high rises, sea breeze that used to dilute the pollution earlier, is weakening… the pollutants are getting trapped and blocked and because of which there is no dilution of pollution particularly during winter months,” he added.

Historically, in the months of winter, the air quality in Mumbai goes down. For instance on October 1, 2017 at 6 pm, the AQI (air quality index) read 101, which means just about satisfactory — people can encounter minor breathing discomfort.

And a year later, on October 1, 2018, at 6 pm, the AQI read 129, which is moderate, means there could be breathing discomfort.

Even doctors say the cases of respiratory problems due to air pollution have gone up to double in the last one year.

“Heat, dust, all this causes increase in particulate matter in environment and thereby increasing diseases in children and adults primarily due to dust and toxic gases. All of them lead to respiratory problems,” said Dr SD Patwardhan, who works in Mumbai.

Although the coastal wind provides some relief to the city, because of heat, dust, vehicular emissions and construction activities, the air quality is deteriorating over the years. If the problem is not treated at the earliest, soon Mumbai can go the Delhi way in terms of air pollution.

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