City-based green activists and environmentalists have blamed the cutting of mangroves for various infrastructural development projects to be the root cause for the poor air quality in Mumbai.
On January 1, the city had recorded the worse Air Quality Index (AQI) of 307. On Monday, the AQI continued to be on the poorer side of the chart at 226. The increased pollutants in the air lead to hazy weather, which eventually resulted in poor visibility.
KS Hosalikar, deputy director-general of the western region - Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) tweeted stating, "Mumbai today evening, with sky obscured condition. Visibility is very bad. You can hardly see things at 500 metres."
Hosalikar also informed that due to the winter conditions, tiny dust particles are getting trapped in the Earth's atmosphere alongside the cloudy skies and light breezy winds have led to the formation of haze over the city.
Mahesh Palawat, weather expert and vice-president Skymet Weather stated, air quality will remain poor till the middle of this week, following which it will gradually improve.
"Parts of the city have received light rains and humid winds are there due to the south-westerly winds, due to which the air quality will remain poor for the next two days at least," Palawat told FPJ.
He also mentioned that after January 8, the temperature in the city will also fall.
"The minimum temperature will go down by at least 2 degrees between Jan 8 and 9 after the humidity goes down," Palawat added.
Meanwhile, green activists held back no punches in blaming the administration for not protecting the mangroves. "For the ongoing coastal road, a significant portion of the mangroves has been chopped by the administration. The quality of air will tend to fall if there is no green cover around the city," Stalin Dayanand environmentalist and director of NGO, Vanashakti told FPJ.