Noida: Pollution is here, but where are ambient air quality monitors? | noida | Hindustan Times
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Noida: Pollution is here, but where are ambient air quality monitors?

The UPPCB has two monitoring stations — in Sector 1 and 6 — which cover only 30% of Noida. Both work on a manual system, depriving residents of instant updates on air quality.

noida Updated: Nov 04, 2016 12:55 IST
Vinod Rajput
Smog led to a pileup of 20 vehicles on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura on Thursday morning, injuring 12 people.
Smog led to a pileup of 20 vehicles on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura on Thursday morning, injuring 12 people.(Sanjeev Gautam/HT Photo)

Even as the air quality in the NCR continues to be critical, the Uttar Pradesh Pradesh pollution control board (UPPCB) does not even have an automatic machine to monitor air quality in each area and update residents. It still calculates pollution manually and takes an eternity to put out a report.

The UPPCB has two monitoring stations — in Sector 1 and 6 — which cover only 30% of Noida. Both work on a manual system, depriving residents of instant updates on air quality.

“Noida authority is considered to be a cash rich entity and has an annual budget of ₹10,000 crore or more for infrastructure development. It is funny that it cannot procure an automatic machine — it costs not more than ₹1 crore. It means neither the authority nor the government is serious about the health of residents,” said Sharad Tiwari, environmentalist.

Read more: ‘Severe’ air prompts DM to look at shutting schools

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. But it gives data only for Sector 62 located off NH-24.

“All residents along the Noida Expressway and central parts of the city have no way of knowing the pollution levels in their area. Noida Expressway is daily used by thousands of vehicles and the carbon emissions will be high in their area. An automatic machine can give out pollution data in that area too,” said Tikam Chauhan, a resident of sector 127.

The automatic air ambient monitoring system can also give real-time data on 12 parameters such as particulate matter, NO2, SO2 and CO2.

UPPCB officials in Noida said they have written to higher-ups in Lucknow four years ago demanding an automatic air ambient monitoring system.

At present, the Noida office can measure only the level of particulate matter-10, SO2 and NO2.

“This office only gives an air quality or pollution level report once a month. Ideally, Noida being a prime industrial town, it should have at least systems in two places to measure pollution levels. On the basis of real-time data, residents can decide on taking preventives steps,” Chauhan said.

Noida has around 7,000 industrial units, six sewage treatment plants and hundreds of under-construction realty projects. All these contribute to the pollution levels.

“An automatic monitoring system will enable us to give pollution data on an hourly or daily basis. We will very soon have such a system in Noida,” said Dr BB Awasthi, regional officer of UPCB.