With air pollution becoming a major issue, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) will install three Continuous Ambient Air Monitoring Stations (CAAMS) at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore, which will collect on-the-spot data and display pollutants in air on specially installed electronic display boards on important crossings in cities, to sensitise the public.
The PPCB will also display the pollution data outside and inside the Golden Temple, the most visited place in the state.
The CAAMS, which the board has bought from a France-based company, will be installed at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, industrial area of Mandi Gobindgarh and at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Trials of mobile machine
Besides, the PPCB has been doing the trials of a mobile CAAMS which will collect data from far-away locations and can be used to track pollution from where the complaints were received.
“As air pollution has become a major issue, there was need for continuous monitoring and sensitising public on the issue. Initially, we have set up stations at three major polluting cities; later, we will set these at Jalandhar, Bathinda and other major cities. The motive is to track the pollution levels and sensitise the public to help the PPCB control pollution,” said PPCB chairman Manpreet Singh Chattwal.
He said the CAAMS would monitor 10 parameters of air, including oxides of nitrogen and sulphur, other pollutants, total suspended particulate matter level, comprising wind direction, wind speed, ambient temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation and rainfall. “The data will be displayed live on various electronic display boards, which will be installed at important points in the these cities,” he said.
Besides, the PPCB has also been studying the mobile CAAMS, which the Delhi government had used for the first time in India to monitor air pollutants during the odd-even vehicle formula.
“The machines have been installed in stationary stations, usually away from residential areas. The mobile van, which we have called for trials, will help us understand the quality of air a citizen is breathing near their homes. We can use this inside colonies, at traffic intersections, near polluting industries, and even can send it to the spot from where the complaints of pollution are pouring in. This will give us on-the-spot data, on the basis of which the PPCB can act and even recommend action against erring institutes,” Chattwal said.
He said the mobile van for trial basis would conduct data of various points in Patiala, Mandi Gobindgarh and Ludhiana.