Navi Mumbai: The Coastal city of Uran across Mumbai Harbour is back in the news – for the wrong reason as it ranked India’s number 1 in air pollution on Thursday morning.
This is a major jump from last year’s ranking in which Uran was number 4 in India and 7 in the world in February this year as per ww.aqi.in which monitors the quality of air that we breathe. The Air Quality Index was 196 at 8.30 AM on Thursday, indicating unhealthy quality. Uran was followed by Begusarai, Tuticorin and Gur,gaon while Pune ranked 5 on Thursday morning.
AQI up to 50 is considered to be good, 50-100 moderate, 101-150 unhealthy for sensitive groups, and 150-200 unhealthy for all, as per the World Health Organisation norms. Even on Friday morning, the air quality index remained unhealthy at over 154.
Concerns over poor air quality
Raising concerns over the deteriorating air quality in Uran and other parts of Navi Mumbai, environmentalists have appealed to the government to take corrective measures such as sprinkling water at construction and quarry sites to prevent dust particles from filling the air.
Massive construction is in progress for the Navi Mumbai International Airport, the road and highway expansion, and the various redevelopment projects, NatConnect Foundation pointed out.
Apart from the construction, the open dumper trucks that carry stone chips and earth for long distances also contribute to the bar air quality, NatConnect director B N Kumar said. An Uran resident Vivek Kadu complained that the poor air quality is causing breathing problems and respiratory diseases. It is probably time again for wearing face masks, he said.
Greens blast unconcerned authorities
In his sarcastic comment, Nandakumar Pawar of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishthan said: “Hearty congratulations to CIDCO, JNPA, ONGC, local authorities, forest department, and political leaders for maintaining this air quality”.
He regretted that precious little is being done to take strict measures to contain the pollution despite the people suffering and green groups bitterly complaining.