A pair of artificial lungs, put up in Mumbai's Bandra to highlight the adverse effects of pollution, has started turning black within just a week of installation, drawing attention to the city's deteriorating air quality.
On Tuesday, the air quality index in Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai's commercial hub, crossed 340. An air quality index above 300 falls in the hazardous category.
In the month of December, Mumbai's air quality index crossed 200 (very unhealthy category) seven times. The air quality index crossed 200 twenty-three times in Bandra Kurla Complex and crossed 300 eight times in the same area. The air quality index in North Mumbai's Malad was 305 today.
Just like Mumbai, artificial lungs designed to monitor air quality and its impact on public health, were set up in Delhi, Lucknow and Bengaluru. Amid Delhi's pollution crisis in November last year, the lungs turned completely black in six days. In Lucknow it took five days, in Bengaluru 25.
Bhagwan Kesbhat, the founder of an environmental organization called Waatavaran, says the use of private cars has added to Mumbai's pollution problem. "Professionals, businessmen and corporates all travel in private cars. Three lakh cars come to the Bandra Kurla Complex every day. That has impacted the air quality. The main cause of air pollution is vehicular emission. Second is dust from construction."
Shikha Kumar, campaign manager for the programme told NDTV, "With all the Aarey protests in Mumbai, we now know for sure it wasn't just about the 3,000 trees but it was about the cluster of greenery which is very important for a city like Mumbai."