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Now, know the air you breathe

Come October, each day you will know how polluted the air you breathe will be the following day, reports Mallica Joshi.

delhi Updated: May 15, 2010 00:10 IST
Mallica Joshi

Come October, each day you will know how polluted the air you breathe will be the following day.

Following the pattern of weather forecasts, the Indian Institute of Tropical Metrology (IITM), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, is set to start a pilot project to forecast the air quality in the city ahead of the Commonwealth Games (CWG).

Once the experimentation stage is over, the project will be taken over by the India Metrological Department (IMD).

“The experiment phase starts in July. Twenty microprocessors with a resolution of three kilometers each will be placed all over Delhi to assess the quality of air,” said B Mukhopadhyay, Deputy Director General, IMD.

The air quality will be calculated in percentages.

“If the air quality forecast predicts 80 per cent air quality it will mean that the air is 80 per cent safe while 20 per cent of the air has particles harmful for humans,” Mukhopadhyay added.

The experiment phase is expected to get over by September and the air quality forecast mechanism will be fully functional by the CWG, according to IMD.

The theoretical framework of the project is based on the air pollution data provided by Central Pollution Control Board in 2008.

Mukhopadhyay revealed his at a media workshop held by the IMD in the city on Friday.

The IMD will also provide a Comfort index ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

The index will be based on markers of weather such as humidity, temperature, rainfall and wind.

“Temperature alone does not indicate if the weather will be comfortable. A temperature of 40 degrees Celsius with 5 per cent humidity will be more comfortable than a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius with 50 per cent humidity levels. We aim to tell people how comfortable the weather will be,” said Mukhopadhyay.

Many countries of the world already have a comfort index in place.

The IMD had started providing the facility five years back but had to discontinue it as it had failed to gain much popularity.

Both projects are expected to start functioning before the CWG.