Chembur, Ghatkopar and Mankhurd residents breathe the city’s worst air, with frequent fires at the Deonar and Mulund dumping grounds pushing air pollution to dangerously high levels. The BMC’s data only reinforces what citizens and activists have been pointing out for months. Residents have been complaining about the quality of air after repeated fires between December 2015 and March 2016 at Deonar, the city’s largest dumpyard. Air quality has been ‘very poor’, affecting visibility and causing breathing problems and asthma attacks among the locals.
Experts said industrial units in Chembur and Bhandup, and a rise in vehicular traffic, intense construction activities and stone crushing could be causing poor air quality. “SPM is bound to be very high in Mumbai because of a combination of a number of particles strung together. The main source for the pollutant is dust from open landfills, open burning and several construction activities in the city,” said Gufran Beig, project director, System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). “Last year, the soil was also dry because of poor rainfall and sea breeze allowed dust to be suspended closer to the earth’s surface,” Beig said.