The Uttar Pradesh pollution control department in Noida has procured two air quality monitoring machines to give residents regular updates on the pollution level.
The two new machines will be able to gather data on particulate matter (PM) 10 and 2.5. It will also calculate the presence of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and SO2 (sulphur dioxide) in the air.
One machine will be installed in Sector 37 and the other in Phase-II area.
“Noida already had two machines -- in Sector 1 and 6 -- to monitor air quality. Now, with four machines, we will cover the entire city. These two machines will become functional by the end of the month,” said Dr BB Awasthi, regional officer of UPPCB, Noida.
The state pollution control board has also signed an agreement with a Noida-based private institute to manage the operations of these air monitoring systems. The board will pay Rs 8 lakh annually to the private institute for this purpose.
“We are about to begin the installation of the two machines. The private institute’s environmental science students will run the two systems. They will take readings and give us pollution updates twice a week,” Awasthi said.
Following instructions from the Centre, the UPPCB has decided to upload pollution data online twice a week.
In 2012, the UPPCB office in Noida had written to higher authorities in Lucknow demanding an automatic air ambient monitoring system. But even after four years, cash-rich Noida is yet to get the system, which costs Rs 1.5 crore. Currently, Noida pollution office only gives an air quality report once a month.
However, residents want the board to give pollution data round the clock.
“Noida has no dearth of funds and can easily procure an automatic machine that gives round the clock pollution updates. The Delhi government monitors air using automatic machines. Why can’t the UP government purchase at least one?” said Karanveer Aneja of Sector 55.
UPPCB said it will take three months to procure an automatic machine for Noida.
“Automatic machine procurement for Noida got delayed because it has to be imported. Therefore, it will take another three months time to get the machine,” Awasthi said.
“If pollution authorities give us data round the clock, we can be aware of the pollution level during different hours in our locality. We can take steps to save ourselves from pollution when the level is higher,” said Bhairavi Singh of Sector 120.