Haryana: Study to assess sources of pollution in four cities to begin this winter

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Published on Sep 27, 2020 11:58 PM IST
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ByPrayag Arora-Desai, Gururgam

A study to comprehensively assess the sources of air and noise pollution in Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonipat and Panipat is likely to commence this winter. The exercise, known as a source apportionment study, is expected to last at least 18 months from the date of commencement. The study is being commissioned by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board(HSPCB) under the aegis of the Centre’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

While an expression of interest (EOI) for the same was floated by the HSPCB in November last year, the outbreak of Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdown resulted in the delayed evaluation of the proposals received. “We have so far received a proposal from a Delhi-based research institute for all four cities. A committee has been formed to comb through the finer details. The committee will convene on September 28 and make a decision,” said Jai Bhagwan Sharma, senior scientist, HSPCB, who is overseeing the study.

While such studies have been earlier commissioned by the Delhi government, they have not yet been carried out in its satellite towns. “In Delhi, there are two official studies, which were conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri). We are aiming to engage an institution of similar repute for our subject cities,” said S Narayanan, member secretary, Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB)

Officials added that the study is being undertaken pursuant to the ‘Comprehensive Action Plan for Clean Air for Cities of Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonepat and Panipat in Haryana’, drafted earlier last year, and is a part of the NCAP. Gurugram and Faridabad were added to the list of initial 102 non-attainment cities covered under the NCAP in July 2019. A non-attainment city is one where the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are not followed.

“Since implementation of same interventions in two cities, having different meteorology, topography and different typology of air polluting sources, is unlikely to give same results, the choice of interventions to control urban air pollution has to be city specific, drawn on the basis of scientific study (sic),” states the EOI by the HSPCB. The EOI further states, “The aim of the study is to promote and demonstrate a more rational & proactive approach to air quality management in urban areas (sic).”

The study, officials explained, will be based largely on 90 days of ambient air quality monitoring conducted over the summer, monsoon and winter, to demonstrate and quantify the seasonal variations in air pollution. The daily sampling times will further be divided into three eight-hour sessions (06.00 hours to 14.00 hours, 14.00 hours to 22.00 hours, and 22.00 hours to 06.00 hours), which will capture the diurnal variation in sources and meteorology of air pollution. This study will also involve a systematic survey of vehicle population to be undertaken in the city, with an emphasis on vehicles older than 20 years. The aim is to find cost-effective solutions to curb their emissions as these represent a major portion of the city’s total vehicular population.

“On completion of data collection, validation and interpretation of the assimilated information, a detailed road map will be drawn considering all possible measures for air quality improvement. These measures will be classified into short and long term with due priority to low cost measures that give maximum benefit,” the HSPCB’s EOI goes on to state.

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