A group of concerned residents of Mumbai met and submitted suggestions to a Mumbai’s civic body official, regarding the issue of air pollution in the city.
Actor and environmentalist Dia Mirza along with convener of Awaaz Foundation Sumaira Abdulali; campaigns director, Bombay Environment Action Group Hema Ramani; and Waatavaran Foundation members Shruti Panchal and Rasika Nachankar met Sanjeev Kumar, Additional Municipal Commissioner (West), Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on April 3.
They discussed issues ranging from construction and demolition of waste, solid waste management, and the need for an institutional framework, for tackling air pollution at the ground level in Mumbai. They emphasised the need for a 10-year action plan apart from short term measures, to curb severe health risks posed by Mumbai’s high levels of air pollution.
Some of the ideas proposed at the meeting by Ms. Mirza and members of Clean Air Mumbai— a network of citizens and civil society groups— were reducing vehicle emissions, promoting public transportation, encouraging the use of clean energy sources, the establishment of public health advisories at the ward level especially for children and the elderly, as highlighted by the BMC in its Budget.
Ms. Mirza said, “Reports have established that air pollution stunts children’s brain development, and even causes cancer. The amount of particulate matter in the air is at an all-time high, and other pollutants continue to vitiate the air we are breathing.”
Air quality worse
As per a report by Professor Gufran Baig, chair professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, “From November 2022 to February 2023, Mumbai’s air quality was noticeably worse than in many prior years. From November to January, out of 92 winter days, Mumbai observed 66 poor and very poor air quality days as compared to just 28 in the past three years’ average.”
“Many redevelopment and construction projects are operational across the city. So the increase is due to intensifying emissions at the source, which under the normal scenario of PM2.5, largely consists of 31% (transport), 20% (industries), and 15% (re-suspended dust), besides other smaller sources,” stated the report.
“Reports have established that air pollution stunts children’s brain development, and even causes cancer”Dia MirzaActor and environmentalist