Mumbai: 200 BEST buses across city to be fitted with air filters to tackle pollution

29 November,2023 07:44 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Prajakta Kasale

Efforts are on to enhance air quality with mobile air purifiers on Mumbai’s roads

Illustration/Uday Mohite

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Following the announcement of air filters for buses to improve air quality, they are now being installed on Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) buses. The first filter was added to bus route number 60, running between Mazgaon and Kurla. An additional seven filters were installed on Monday, with a plan to fit 200 filters on buses to clean city air as they navigate roads.

Despite the recent rain cleaning the city air, the state government seeks a lasting solution to the persistent air pollution issue after this year's post-monsoon spike. The strategy involves fitting air filters on buses, effectively turning them into mobile air purifiers. An official from BEST said, "Currently, one bus from Anik depot, on route number 60, has been equipped with air filter. Seven more buses had filters installed on Monday night, and 13 more are set for installation in the coming days." Bus number 60 starts from Maharana Pratap Chowk Mazgaon, covering 41 stops with a 30-minute travel time and a distance of 15.4 km to reach Kurla Bus Station East (Last Stop).

These High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can clean up to 15,000 cubic metres of air per hour, capturing 12-15 grams of suspended particulate matter. Operating on velocity, they won't need extra power. Although each filter costs around R50,000, they're being procured through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Eventually, 200 buses will feature detachable rooftop air filters, along with 150 vehicle-mounted filters. Minesh Pimpale, deputy municipal commissioner (Environment), said, "The MPCB is arranging the filters through CSR. We act as a coordinator between MPCB and BEST to fit the filters."

During a technical committee meeting in September chaired by the principal secretary of the Department of Environment and Climate Change, Maharashtra government, potential solutions like virtual chimneys at busy places, vehicle-mounted air purifiers, filter-less air purification technology machines, and wind augmentation and purifying machines were discussed alongside industry and technology experts' representatives.

No of filters to be installed

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