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Delhi eyes tailor-made 72-hour pollution prediction tool

According to a senior Delhi government official, the project, which might be part of the 2018-19 green budget, is expected to be up and running by October 2018.

delhi Updated: Mar 21, 2018 23:56 IST
Ritam Halder
Ritam Halder
Hindustan Times
Delhi,delhi pollution,pollution monitor
The Delhi government is all set to put in place a pollution prediction model, which will give air quality forecasts for up to 72 hours.

The Delhi government is all set to put in place a pollution prediction model, which will give air quality forecasts for up to 72 hours.

According to a senior Delhi government official, the project, which might be part of the 2018-19 green budget, is expected to be up and running by October 2018.

“When pollution peaks this time around, we want to be better prepared. We do not want to be on reactive mode and do firefighting when we can pre-empt situations and take preventive actions. This model will be like the one the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has installed for the entire country and the one in Beijing,” the official said.

Experts from World Bank are helping the Delhi Pollution Control Committee in the project, which will be a helpful tool in the implementation of the Supreme Court-mandated Graded Response Action Plan against air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

“The National Capital Region went through an unprecedented pollution crisis in November last year when the air became unfit to breathe for a week, staying in “severe” category. The worst day was on November 9, when the Air Quality Index hit 486. If there was a better pollution prediction system in place, we might not have avoided it but would have had the opportunity to be better prepared,” the official said.

Expected to cost around Rs 2 crore, the model will include all the 24 DPCC pollution monitoring stations and thereby will also give micro area-wise air quality predictions

The Delhi government will also conduct a round-the-year air quality study to ascertain sources of pollution in the city, in collaboration with University of Washington. This is also expected to be featured in the budget to presented on Thursday.

“This study is directed to understand the variation of pollution levels on a daily basis. This study will analyse the chemical characterisation of the pollutants for different period of the year. The project, which will cost R1.5 crore, will start in three months and will take one and a half years,” a government official said.

First Published: Mar 21, 2018 23:56 IST