The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) will install four air monitoring stations in Gautam Budh Nagar. One station will be set up in Noida in the next 15 days while three others will set up in Greater Noida soon, officials said.
The air monitoring stations are being set up following the directions of the Centre. The state and central agencies will equally share the financial burden for setting up the stations.
Around Rs 5 crore will be spent on setting up the four new stations, said an official.
Both the Centre and the state are under pressure to set up more air monitoring stations to provide regular updates on pollution levels to the public. “We are ready to set up one automatic machine to monitor air quality at Amity University in Noida’s Sector 126. This station will be the first in Noida to be set up by UPPCB and the Centre. It will give instant updates to residents round-the-clock,” Dr BB Awasthi, regional officer of the UPPCB, Noida, said.
The UPPCB has two monitoring stations — in sectors 1 and 6 — which cover only 30% of Noida. Both work on a manual system, due to which residents cannot get instant updates.
Even as the air quality in the NCR continues to be critical, UPPCB does not have even one automatic machine to monitor air quality. It still calculates pollution levels manually and it is time-consuming to prepare a report.
The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), located in Sector 62, is part of the ministry of earth science and is funded by the Centre. However, it provides data only for that particular sector, which is located off the NH-24.
“The Centre has clearly directed officials to set up two manual and one automatic air monitoring stations each in Noida and Greater Noida. We already have two manual stations in Noida and one automatic station will become operational in the next 15 days. In Greater Noida, three new stations (one automatic and two manual) will be set up soon,” Awasthi said.
“Pollution is at an all-time high in NCR but there is still no air pollution monitoring system in Greater Noida. We do not even know the pollution level in our area to take precautions, particularly for our children. It is lamentable that the cash-rich Noida does not have automatic machines to monitor air and update residents,” Dushyant Singh of Sector Alpha-I said.
The automatic air ambient monitoring system provides real-time data on 12 parameters such as particulate matter, NO2, SO2 and CO2.
At present, the manual systems only provide data on the level of particulate matter-10, SO2 and NO2.
Noida has around 7,000 industrial units, six sewage treatment plants and hundreds of under-construction realty projects, which are major reasons for pollution.