It has been over a month now that Mumbai is dealing with a poor Air Quality Index (AQI). To solve this issue Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) imposed many restrictions and took action against the firms not following the rules.
To make improvements in the air quality, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that the civic body will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an international firm based out of Dubai, for carrying out artificial rain through cloud seeding in Mumbai.
As on this morning, November 21, the city’s AQI was recorded at 126, falling under the ‘moderate’ category.
Addressing a press conference, CM Shinde said that at present the BMC has taken all the possible mitigation measures necessary for curbing air pollution in the city. Most of the measures have a positive result too. But the CM said that we are ready for any challenges ahead of us and have taken steps to carry out cloud seeding in order to create artificial rain.
Taking cognizance of the air pollution issue in Mumbai, CM Shinde said that the civic body is in talks with a Dubai-based firm which has expertise in this field. An MoU will be signed between the firm and the municipal corporation as soon as possible to ensure that cloud seeding could be done immediately if pollution levels deteriorate more in the city.
In the early hours of the day, the chief minister assessed the mitigating measures put in place by the local government to reduce pollution levels. He travelled to many places, such as Carter Road in Bandra, Juhu, Andheri East, and Kalanagar (Bandra East). Throughout the previous month, these locations have continuously had low AQI values. Shinde went over the mitigating actions taken by the municipal organization, such as the usage of fogging machines, road washing, and the deployment of mist cannons.
Since November 2023, the BMC is carrying out a cleaning process of 60-foot-wide roads as well as busy footpaths. According to the data shared by the civic body, it is cleaning 584 kilometers of roads daily. From December 2023, the civic body is planning to clean 1000 kilometers daily.
CM Eknath Shinde said that he has instructed the municipal commissioner to handle the issue in an aggressive manner and the commissioner should deploy more manpower to mitigate this problem being faced by Mumbai. At the press conference he took after visiting all the regions mentioned above, the CM also said that water spraying should not be limited to major and main roads only but water sprinkling should be carried out in all the minor roads and bylanes as well to ensure dust displacement does not take place from those areas as well.
CM Shinde said that to handle this issue, in every municipal ward 2000 employees should be deployed so that the matter can be tackled aggressively.
CM Shinde added that special attention should be given to those areas where big infrastructure development works are going on. These places include the construction of the bullet train project, the Metro rail works and Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) Road.
CM Shinde said there are more than 40 mist cannons in Mumbai. Apart from mist cannons, fogging machines are being used at the ward level for cleaning the roads. These technologies have given great results and have proved to be effective. CM said that he has asked the commissioner that fogging machines should also be used in each traffic junction of the city.