MUMBAI: As the south west monsoon retreats and Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, the city on Friday recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 118—the worst since the lockdown was enforced in March.
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The overall AQI of 118, monitored across nine locations by System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), is considered to be moderate (101-200). Experts attributed the air quality to the end of monsoon weather conditions.
IMD issues yellow alert for Thane, green for Mumbai
Though the city’s AQI has been in the good to satisfactory category since the lockdown began, the highest AQI before Friday was recorded on September 6, at 100.
“As the monsoon retreats in the state, the winds are extremely calm not just over Mumbai, but also around it. This has resulted in the pollutants accumulating in the air,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR.
The air quality might improve from Sunday, as a fresh low pressure system has formed over north Andaman Sea and adjoining east central Bay of Bengal by October 9, followed by another low pressure system that will bring rain in parts of the state.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert—thunderstorm with lightning at isolated places—for Thane and Raigad till Tuesday. The same alert has been issued for Palghar for Monday and Tuesday. A green alert—very light to light rain—has been issued for Mumbai for the respective days. There was a yellow alert issued for all the places on Friday, but no rain was recorded until 5.30 pm.

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