Residents of Mumbai fear breathing tainted air and developing a variety of pollution-related health problems when the city’s winter comes early. Studies have shown that Mumbai’s air quality is drastically declining. According to the Energy Policy Institute’s report on the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), exposure to PM2.5 reduces a person’s average life expectancy in Mumbai by 3.7 years.
The US-based Health Effects Institute and Global Burden of Disease Project’s collaborative ‘Air Quality and Health in Cities’ report, published in August 2022, ranked Mumbai as the 14th most polluted city in the world with average PM2.5 levels at 45.1 mg/cubic metre.
The Greenpeace South Asia Analysis from 2021 places Delhi as the most polluted megacity in India, followed by Mumbai, which is ranked fifth most polluted in the world with the highest number of fatalities (25,000) related to air pollution.
‘The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (MC) has sufficient funds, but hasn’t taken enough steps to improve the air quality. It should immediately establish a system to issue health warnings if air quality deteriorates because air pollution is a serious health risk as well as an environmental hazard,’ said Waatavaran Foundation CEO Bhagwan Kesbhat.
Poor air quality was also reported in other Maharashtra cities, including Pune and Nagpur. With 97.60% of the state’s 12-million residents living in places with ‘hazardous or unacceptable levels of air pollution,’ the state is perched high on the pedestal of pollution. The state is the ‘third-most populous sub-national area in the world,’ according to a World Bank Group study.