India’s financial capital Mumbai has been witnessing “very poor” air quality in recent days.
It’s capital Delhi that usually makes headlines for having dangerous levels of air pollution during the winter months.
But Mumbai, which has a vast coastline and is considered to have better air quality, overtook Delhi pollution levels several times this week.
Mumbai has joined a growing list of Indian cities that have bad air.
Experts say rapid construction, adverse weather conditions and increasing pollution from vehicle emissions are some of the factors responsible for the deteriorating air quality.
The level of PM 2.5 – fine particulate matter that can clog lungs and cause a host of diseases – was 308 in the city on Friday morning at 8.30am [local time], compared to Delhi’s reading of 259, according to government data.
Levels between 200 to 300 are considered poor and any reading between 300 to 400 is categorised as very poor. Many Indian cities, including Delhi, Kolkata, Kanpur and Patna, often report PM 2.5 levels well above the safe limit.
A figure between zero and 50 is considered “good”, and between 51 and 100 is “satisfactory”, according to the the air quality index or AQI.