Soon, the residents will be able to regularly monitor air pollution levels in Ghaziabad. The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) is in the final stages of putting in place a ‘continuous ambient air quality monitoring system’ at Vasundahra. The system is likely to be up and running in a week.
The district has a mix of industrial, residential and commercial areas. It is severely affected by air pollution caused by heavy vehicular traffic, smoke emitted by factories and dust pollution in and around construction sites.
The system is being installed at Vasundhara office of UPPCB at a cost of over Rs 1.5 crore. It is capable of monitoring nine air quality parameters including PM10, PM2.5, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, benzene, ammonia and toluene etc.
“This is the first such online system to be installed in the city. One more system is proposed in nearby Hapur district. We are currently in the process of working out the modalities of the project at our headquarters. The system in Ghaziabad will also have a display unit which will show 24 hours of average data on the parameters. The system will monitor industrial as well as residential air quality data at Vasundhara,” Paras Nath, regional manager (RM), UPPCB, said.
The engineers from UPPCB said that apart from air quality, the system will also assess basic meteorological parameters related to wind velocity, humidity etc. The PM10 and finer PM2.5 pollutants will be measured on an average of one hour while the other gaseous components will be monitored and updated every 15 minutes.
“The system is in testing phase and likely to get operational within a week. The data from the system will be transmitted to the website of the Central Pollution Control Board and can be accessed by residents. Apart from this, data readings will also be available on certain mobile applications,” the RM said.
At present, Ghaizabad has only three manual air quality measuring units which are installed at Vasundhara, Bulandshahr Road Industrial area and Sahibabad Site-IV Industrial Area. The Vasudhara manual system will give way to the online system in a week.
“The system was much needed as other cities already have such systems in place. Once this system becomes operational, the pollution board officials will be forced to take measures to control rising air pollution. In fact, several such systems should be made operational in other areas of the district which have varied topography. One system is not sufficient,” Sushil Raghav, an environment activist, said.