IIT-Delhi to assess Noida’s pollution sources
The Noida regional office of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has approached IIT-Delhi to assess the sources of air pollution, a first for the city, in a bid to deploy effective control measures before October when the air quality starts deteriorating in the National Capital Region.
Despite the city figuring among the most polluted in the country in several surveys, there is yet to be a survey to assess the source of emissions and the kind of aerosols so produced. Noida, like other cities in the NCR, suffers severe levels of air pollution from October through February, due to several artificial and meteorological factors.
Officials from UPPCB said they will soon start field inspections and check hot spots [where pollution levels are generally high] for better remedial actions.
IIT-Delhi is the knowledge partner and institute of repute (IOR) for Noida and Ghaziabad. In March, the cities and IIT-Delhi signed a memorandum of agreement to this effect wherein the institute will help them with technical support, identifying sources and methods to tackle air pollution.
UPPCB Noida regional officer Praveen Kumar said the board will soon sign a contract with the IIT to conduct the survey.
“The conditions of the contract are being formalised for the study that will measure emissions, inventory development and source apportionment for Noida. After that we will be in a position to assess the actual sources so that we can take remedial actions accordingly. We will also keep an eye on the violations related to the construction and demolition waste,” said Kumar.
According to the IIT Delhi, centre for atmospheric sciences, associate professor Sagnik Dey, while there could be many sources of emissions in both Noida and Ghaziabad, a big chunk of pollution comes from Delhi.
“Both Noida and Ghaziabad are on downwind of Delhi, so emissions from there end up in the two cities, just like Delhi receives emissions from Haryana and Punjab. There would certainly be other sources of pollution as well in Noida, which would be almost similar as those in Delhi. So far, we have very little knowledge about Noida in terms of sources, so this study would be a first. In fact, no other NCR city, other than Delhi, has had such a survey done,” said Dey .
The study Dey is referring to is one that was done by IIT Kanpur in 2015, which found that in winter vehicles contributed nearly 25% of the PM2.5 (particulate matter of size 2.5 microns or less that can enter bloodstream and penetrate organs leading to higher risk of cancer and other diseases) and biomass burning contributed 26%.
Noida is among 132 cities in the country selected for the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) — a long-term and time-bound national level strategy to tackle air pollution across the country in a comprehensive manner. It has targets to achieve 20% to 30% reduction in particulate matter concentration by 2024 with 2017 as the base year.
According to a 2020 report by IQAir, a US and Swiss-based air quality solution company, which has assessed a total of 98 countries and over 600 cities, Noida and Greater Noida were the fifth and ninth most polluted cities, respectively, based on the annual average concentration of PM2.5.