Air Pollution in Mumbai


Air Pollution in Mumbai


Air pollution in Mumbai is one of the biggest health hazard in the present era. This problem needs to be addressed immediately and steps should be taken to prevent it both by government and citizens. Many major cities in India are highly polluted and one of them is Mumbai, which is also called as Financial capital of India.

Mumbai is one of the major metropolitan city located in west of India and is capital of Maharashtra, with a population of more than 18.5 million. With increasing industrialization and commercialization the city is more open to job opportunities for many people from all over the country. Thus, increasing population and leading to all types of pollution like air, water and noise. 

The main contributor to air pollution is smoke emitting from large number of vehicles plying in the city, industries and the slum which is considered as world’s biggest slum. As the city is expanding rapidly, having a vehicle is not only a status symbol but also a necessity. The second contributor to air pollution in the city is number of industries emitting smoke which even pollute the nearby water bodies. Adding to this the city always face heavy rains which makes the atmosphere damp and windy, due to which the dust particles circulate more.  Pollution cause many respiratory problems, people are advised to use a mask or air purifiers.


Causes of Air Pollution in Mumbai


There are many causes of air pollution in Mumbai. They can be listed as:

1) The biggest reason for pollution in Mumbai is vehicle emission. There are thousands of vehicles in the city including cars, buses, two wheeler, taxis, trains. Which are used by citizens to travel from one place to another. With expanding population and city limits, having a vehicle has become mandatory for travelling. People use different modes of transport depending on their needs and status. Sometimes it takes hours to to travel from one end to another leading to traffic and pollution. 

2) The city has many industries providing employment to many people. But it also provides pollution in large way. the smoke coming from factories damages the air quality badly, even the nearby water bodies are effected by it. Some of the factories are in midst of the city, even some which were in the outskirts have now become part of the city due to expansion of the city limits. The noise and smoke coming form such factories, leads to various problems and making to difficult for people living nearby to survive peacefully in a clean environment.

3) Mumbai has the largest slum area, where many people douse kerosene or wood for cooking and other activities, this leads to a large quantity of smoke which pollutes the whole atmosphere emitting many hazardous substances in the air. Lack of sanitation facilities is also one of the reasons for pollution in the slum area. 

4) There is also biggest dump yard, where huge quantity of trash is being disposed daily. This causes very bad smell during rains and especially when the trash is being burnt, the smoke and the smell of burning goes very far, leading to pollution and emission of many harmful gasses and causes very bad smell, making it difficult to breathe. Most of them are illegal dumping. 

5) With the expanding employment opportunities and population, the city has seen dramatic increase in construction. There are many construction activities going on every now and then. This leads to dust, wood dust, cement, sand etc in the air. Dust form building construction leads to high levels of particulate matter which causes many health hazards. 


Effects of Air Pollution in Mumbai


Vehicle emission, industry smoke release lots of harmful gasses such as Sulfur dioxide, nitrogen Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, which lead to many health hazards. Doctors advice to keep oneself away from these harmful pollutants and stay protected. Some of the effects of air pollution are:

  • Heart Diseases, asthma or respiratory diseases.
  • Illness associated with Lung infection, bronchitis, flu.
  • Skin diseases or skin rashes. 
  • Watery eyes, headaches, sinusitis.
  • Risk to pregnant women and unborn child.


Preventive Measures to Stop the Effect of Pollution

While many doctors, suggest many ways to protect oneself from air pollution. It is advised that one should avoid going out during peak hours, use masks whenever you go out, try to close windows and install air purifiers at home, go for regular check ups. Go for carpooling and use public transport as much as possible, try walking or cycling to nearby places if possible, this will not reduce pollution, but has a good effect on overall health. Avoid burning anything or smoking in public places, especially on roads etc. where there is already lot of pollution. 


Pollution level in Mumbai

As of 2018, Mumbai is considered as 4th most polluted metropolis city in the world.According to sources the city has PM2.5 Particulate matter, which is dangerous and 9 out of 10 people breathe bad quality of air, resulting in deaths. In October 2018, the air quality index(AQI), was recorded 142 and by evening it reached 177, and the highest AQI was recorded at 309. AQI between 101 to 200 is considered moderate, and this record shows that AQI in Mumbai was “very Poor”, rather life threatening. Pollution levels are recorded high in the morning and clear out by evening, it all depends on the winds. The Air Quality Index keep fluctuating since September.


Air Pollution in Mumbai Statistics

The city faces  serious health issues due to the over pollution, the government officlas however, play a deaf ear saying the Air Quality index is in moderate range. According to WHO, Particulate Matter in Mumbai was recorded PM2.5 and PM10. Particulate matter contains sulfate, nitrate oxide and many other pollutants, which are very dangerous when inhaled. Air quality index keeps fluctuating in Mumbai, it reaches a peak level in September and gradually comes down by January. According to experts Mumbai air quality keeps deteriorating due to vehicular density and constructions. 


Control Measures

Although the pollution levels are not as bad as Delhi, but the Government has to take steps to suppress the pollution, or this is going to increase and cause many hazards. The city authorities are planting more tress around the city to reduce the pollution effects, there should also be restriction on construction works carried on around the city, experts say, pollution can be reduced if contractors spray water before and after demolition of the building. Dumping yards should be monitored properly and reduce the number of dumping yards around the city. Many NGOs are organizing awareness programs to reduce the pollution and its effects. 


Conclusion on Pollution in Mumbai

Mumbai is learning from mistakes of other cities and trying to curb the pollution by implementing many remedies. Many health issues occur due to pollution mostly kids and old aged people suffer because of this.

Because of air pollution, water quality is also deteriorating, as the pollutants get absorbed by water easily. Public should also be aware of the pollution and its effects, people should try car polling and carry out maintenance checks on their vehicles. Not to smoke cigarettes in public places, use less plastic, as the burning of plastic causes tremendous smoke and harmful gases are released due to this. 

Pollution is a long term issue and cannot be solved overnight, but it requires a very dedicated efforts from government and public. The long term effects of pollution is going to borne by generations, so it is high time that everyone stand up against this issue and fight it. It is going time to sort the things but the result of this will be enjoyed by generations to come.

Infrastructural facilities such as roads and transport system should be redesigned, this would also help to great extent. Encouraging public to use more public transport and providing them with good and comfortable transport facilities would also be beneficial.  Although many steps have been taken and many laws have been implemented air quality keeps diminishing. The public and concerned authorities pay a deaf ear to the complaints. This attitude must be changed, or the effects will be very dangerous. 

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