Mumbai rubbish dump fire causes spike in air pollution

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 21, 2016 8:01 AM

MUMBAI (Reuters) - A fire in one of Mumbai's three rubbish dumps on Saturday has triggered a fall in air quality to "poor", the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board said.

The rise came after several schools in India's financial capital had to be shut down in January due to worries children would suffer breathing problems tied to the smog because of a fire at the same dump.

The worsening air quality is raising concerns that Mumbai will start to resemble Delhi, which has taken measures to restrict the use of private cars in a city that the World Health Organization said in 2014 was the most polluted among nearly 1,600 cities it had studied.

"Fire is under control but the smoke will continue to be there till the time the fire is completely extinguished," said a control room officer at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which is responsible for the civil administration of the city.

Fires at dumping grounds occasionally lead to spikes in pollution in Mumbai, which traditionally has had better air quality than Delhi.

(Reporting by Swati Bhat; Editing by Nick Macfie)