‘Real time pollution source data and forecast system soon in Delhi’

Updated on Feb 16, 2022 05:24 AM IST

IIT Kanpur said that Delhi will soon get an emissions inventory which will have a spatial resolution of 500m x 500m -- four times finer than the existing 2km x 2km grid being used by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology

Vehicular emission is a major source of pollution in Delhi. (PTI)
Vehicular emission is a major source of pollution in Delhi. (PTI)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Delhi government on Tuesday said it was one step closer to operationalising the real-time source apportionment and pollution forecasting system for Delhi that will help the authorities to identify local sources of pollution and initiate actions in the affected areas.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the environment department held a review meeting on Tuesday, during which officials from IIT Kanpur informed that Delhi will soon be getting an emissions inventory which will a spatial resolution of 500 x 500m -- four times finer than the existing 2km x 2km grid being used by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).

Officials said this is the second review meeting for the ‘real time source apportionment’ study project for Delhi after the plan was approved by the Delhi Cabinet in October last year. A team of IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Delhi, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI), and IISER Mohali will execute the study in the national capital.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has been authorised to act as the nodal agency for executing the study with IIT Kanpur, which will allow the government to identify the sources of pollution in real time.

“We are extremely glad that the IIT Kanpur study is progressing on time despite the occasional disruptions caused by Covid-19. I congratulate the team at IIT Kanpur and DPCC for setting up good programme management mechanisms to ensure timely progress. We look forward to receiving the results of the study in the next few months and Delhi becoming the first city to have a real time source apportionment of air pollution,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said on Tuesday.

Based on the results of the study, the Delhi government will be able to take necessary actions to curb recurring sources of pollution and quantify their contribution to overall air pollution in the city.

“The availability of pollution forecasting on an hourly basis for the next seven days will be extremely crucial for the government to take data-backed policy decisions around school closures, construction site ban, vehicular restrictions, among others,” said Reena Gupta, advisor to the Delhi environment minister.

“Currently due to the absence of a reliable forecasting system, we are bound to make decisions based on previous years’ experience rather than the future forecast,” she added.

Officials said during the second review meeting, IIT Kanpur informed the government that it had visited several locations in Delhi to identify where the real-time source apportionment equipment could be set up, and the most suitable locations will be shortlisted. TERI has also started the groundwork for creation of a 2022 emissions inventory which will be useful for pollution forecasting.

“This emissions inventory will be extremely advanced and have a fine spatial resolution of 500m x 500m as compared to the 2km x 2km resolution used by IITM for the SAFAR pollution forecasting,” an official said.

IIT Kanpur also said other agencies such as IIT Delhi and TERI had all been successful in signing contracts for their respective scope of work, including closure of the tender process for purchase of equipments like a real time ambient air analyzer and online particulate matter and ion analysis system.

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