Mumbai has the most polluted air out of all coastal cities in India as per a recent study. Its particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) levels, which indicates the concentration of very small particles with a size of just 2.5 micrometres or less, have been found to be higher than Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, and it was more polluted than China’s capital Beijing during 2010-16.
A significant contributor to Mumbai’s poor air quality is its vehicular traffic. Mumbai, along with Pune, recorded the highest vehicle per km in the entire country. The problem is so acute, it seems successfully confronting air pollution and its many implications on health and society is little more than a pipe dream if not accompanied by transformative change in public mobility. The vehicle density per km in Mumbai and Pune are the highest in the country leading to traffic congestion and stress on air quality.
Measure of a good city is not to create citizens aspiring of driving cars, but to create a city in which those who can afford to do so would still prefer to use public transport– Bittu Sehgal, veteran conservationist and the editor of Sanctuary Asia.
Watch on to find out about what the first “citizen science” experiment revealed about Mumbai’s air quality.