Delhi to get 20 new pollution monitoring stations by October this year
Twenty new air quality monitoring stations will start functioning in Delhi by October to “strengthen the fight against air pollution” in the Capital.
The decision was taken in a meeting of the environment department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee convened by Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday.
Air pollution data in the capital is currently taken from 28 monitoring stations – four run by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), eight by the Met department and the rest by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
According to a government release, the process of getting these new stations is in advanced stage and the work order will be issued shortly.
“The network is so designed that it will cover the existing gaps in measuring ambient air quality and will give representative status of pollution levels in Delhi…. this network will help in implementing the Supreme Court mandated Graded Response Action Plan for winter in Delhi and NCR. This system will be functional by October and will give real time data of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Ozone, Ammonia, Benzene and weather parameters,” it stated.
These new stations will be installed in different areas of the city such as residential, industrial, commercial and institutional in order to give a true representative character of air pollution.
Establishment of additional ambient air quality monitoring stations will help the government and other stakeholders in management and control of air pollution more effectively.
The decision to install more stations comes after the Supreme Court approved the CPCB’s “graded response action plan”, earlier in January. The plan outlines measures based on air quality — moderate to poor, very poor, severe, and severe-plus or emergency. A separate set of action plan has been suggested for each category.
The top court in December last year had asked authorities to install real-time and manual pollution monitoring stations in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to check air quality for the graded response.
According to the SC-approved graded action plan, the entire national capital region (NCR) will be treated as one. Authorities and experts have warned that the landlocked city’s air quality cannot improve unless adequate measures are taken in the whole of NCR, which involves territories governed by neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
“In a city like Delhi, the air quality is not the same at different places. For example, Anand Vihar with heavy vehicular traffic is one of the most polluted corners of the city. At Jor Bagh, in the heart of the city, the pollution levels are well under control,” an environment department official said, adding that more monitoring stations will help in a thorough understanding of the nature of pollution in various parts of the city.