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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

IIT-Delhi’s fortnightly plan to forecast, check pollution at hot spots

Scientists from IIT-Delhi have been working on a bimonthly action plan to help the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) identify polluting areas in the city in advance and take pre-emptive action there.

delhi Updated: Oct 19, 2019 23:37 IST
Soumya Pillai
Soumya Pillai
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
IIT has identified seven polluting areas in Delhi-NCR, which are likely to pull the city’s air quality down till October 30.
IIT has identified seven polluting areas in Delhi-NCR, which are likely to pull the city’s air quality down till October 30. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
         

Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT) has identified seven polluting areas in Delhi-NCR, which are likely to pull the city’s air quality down till October 30.

Scientists from IIT-Delhi have been working on an action plan to help the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) identify polluting areas in the city in advance and take pre-emptive action there.

For the period between October 15 and October 30, IIT-D experts have identified seven pollution hotspots in Delhi and NCR towns. The areas identified are Mayapuri (southwest Delhi), Wazirpur (northwest Delhi), Okhla (south) Faridabad sector-34, DLF Industrial Area, Udyog Vihar (Gurugram), Sahibabad (Ghaziabad), and Faridabad Phase-2, Sectors-58, 64 and 50.

“We have tied up with IIT-Delhi to help us take advance action on pollution. They provide us with information on areas that are likely to be the most polluting and the sources that are causing this. We then inform local government agencies on where they can focus their monitoring and what the problem areas are,” said CPCB member-secretary Prashant Gargava.

For the seven areas identified for this fortnight, experts have pointed out that agencies need to control dust from unpaved roads, check industrial emissions and also keep tab on movement of heavy commercial vehicles in these zones.

The plan has also provided details of the percentage reduction of pollution levels in the identified areas if the plan is implemented.

“An overall reduction of around 20% in all emissions sources in the identified areas, can bring down pollution in the region by at least 15.75%,” the action plan reads.

Scientists from IIT-Delhi said that they have been providing these bimonthly plans to the CPCB for the last two-three months now, but its effectiveness will be seen now when the pollution levels are on a rise.

Mukesh Khare, a professor at IIT-Delhi and coordinator of Centre of Excellence for Research on Clean Air, explained that the forecast was being made with the help of an air quality forecasting system that looks into the meteorological conditions on a region. The system is integrated with AERMOD—atmospheric dispersion modelling system—that provides data on emissions inventory.

“We are taking into account the emission load of regions to forecast. Based on these forecasts, action plans are made,” Khare said.

CPCB officials said that municipal agencies as have been directed to take prompt action such as inspecting industries, sprinkling water on unpaved roads and fixing the problems of road dust immediately to control the problem.