Navi Mumbai: The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has decided to install air purification centres across the city to check the deteriorating air quality, especially during the winter season. The air quality index (AQI) of the city has even crossed 300 on several occasions.
On average, the AQI of Navi Mumbai is over 100 which is unhealthy as per guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Even, the annual PM2.5 concentration of the city is around 66 micrograms per cubic meter (mpcm), approximately 13 times the WHO safe target of 10 mpcm
Additional city engineer (department of electricity and environment) Mr Shirish Aardwad confirmed the development but did not disclose much. “The NMMC is concerned about the increasing air pollution in the city and has decided to install air purification centres to keep the air clean,” he said.
There are a number of factors that contribute to air pollution in Navi Mumbai. Since the city is still in the developing stage, large-scale construction work is being carried out. Additionally, the city has an industrial zone where a large number of chemical units are operating. Even the ongoing hill levelling work at the site of the proposed international airport is believed to be a major contributor. While the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPBC) takes action against erring industrial units, there are areas where residents complain of foul smells and difficulties in breathing during the night, especially during winter months.
There are traffic signals and busy traffic locations, where the maximum air pollution is recorded. These locations are Talvali Junction, MIDC, Mahape Bridge, Teen Taki (Kopar Khairane), Kopri Chowk, Savita Chemical Junction, Shivaji Chowk Vashi, Vashi Bridge, Sion-Panvel Highway (Vashi), Turbhe Naka, Moraj Chowk, Sarsole Junction (Nerul), D Y Patil Junction (Nerul), CIDCO Bhawan (Belapur) and Killa Junction (Belapur)
In the second week of November, the air quality of the city deteriorated and the AQI reached 319. According to the National AQI-CPCB report, the air in Navi Mumbai was on the 'worst' list during the period.