Mumbai is grappling with a significant surge in air pollution levels, surpassing even those recorded in the national capital, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) in certain suburbs exceeding 300.
While citizens are coming up with respiratory complaints, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has issued directives to the civic body to hire 1,000 water tankers to wash the roads every alternate day, complemented by the deployment of water foggers, jetting machines, suction machines and smog guns.
The peak in air pollution is attributed to ongoing construction projects, metro construction, and a substantial number of private vehicles crowding the roads.
The Chief Minister took to the road early on Tuesday to take the stock of initiative taken by the civic body to curb air pollution. He asked civic officials to take every possible effort to bring back Mumbai’s air to normal.
Shinde said various measures are being taken by the government to bring pollution under control. Along with various infrastructure projects of the government, many construction works are going on in Mumbai.
Instructions have been given to ensure that there is no pollution at these work sites. Green cover has been made mandatory for buildings under construction. Transportation of debris in open vehicles is prohibited.
According to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board there are many sources of particulate matter emission impacting the ambient air quality of the city; however the major ones are resuspended dusts and industries. One of the major contributors to particulate matter (PM) and NOx emissions in Mumbai region is vehicular exhaust. Particulates present in vehicular emissions are especially harmful due to their small size (under PM10) and even larger number below PM2.5. Construction/ demolition related emission has gone up, refuse burning has increased and road dust related emissions have also shown an increase.