Mumbai just faced the first Super Cyclone Nisarga in its past history of 129 years. The city faced loss at certain levels where trees were uprooted and many people were migrated to a safer place. However, because of Cyclone Nisarga, there were even some benefits to the city.
The entire nation including Mumbai was under lockdown since the third week of March. Due to this, there is a noteworthy improvement in the Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city. According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) on June 4, Mumbai was breathing the cleanest air of 2020 with an AQI of 17.
It is noteworthy that a day prior to 4th June i.e. Wednesday also noticed air with 22 AQI. This is by far the second cleanest air of 2020 in Mumbai. Gufran Beig, Director of SAFAR reports,
“The wind speed was 72 km/h on Wednesday in Mumbai which dispersed pollutants and combined with intermittent showers, it cleared the air.”
With the cool breeze of air, the particulate matter that causes air pollution flew away! And people of Mumbai were enjoying fresh and pure air. Due to cyclone Nisarga, the concentration levels of PM 2.5 also saw a reduction. The score of PM was 15 micrograms per cubic meter. As per WHO, a safer limit of PM 2.5 is 25 μg/m3 for 24 hours, while our national safety standard states 60 μg/m3 as the safe limit.
Mazgaon had the cleanest air with AQI of 4. Whereas Malad and Borivali recorded an AQI of 43 as the highest, but it was still in the ‘Good AQI’ Category. As per government norms, AQI of 1-50 is a ‘good’ level. Before the impact of Cyclone Nisarga begun, the best air quality for Mumbai was 25 on 23rd May.
However, the best air quality after SAFAR initiated Air Quality Monitoring is 12 that was recorded in Mumbai on 4th September 2019. Unbelievable, right?
Let’s Hope, the Air Quality of Mumbai remains at this level even post lockdown phase.