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Now, air quality data only after CPCB authentication

Residents of Delhi will not get real time air pollution data for many areas as it will be disseminated to people only after authentication by the national pollution watchdog, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). So, it would be ‘deferred’ real time air quality data.

delhi Updated: Mar 11, 2015 01:12 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
CPCB,Delhi Pollution Control Committee,quality of air

Residents of Delhi will not get real time air pollution data for many areas as it will be disseminated to people only after authentication by the national pollution watchdog, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). So, it would be ‘deferred’ real time air quality data.

The move, experts say, is the government’s attempt to regulate air pollution data and prevent releasing raw data on quality of air, which normally shows high toxicity in air, in Delhi.

The raw data released by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee on the real time basis for six locations on its website had shown high levels of particulate air pollution in the capital this winter creating a lot of consternation among government agencies.

The DPCC data showed that Delhi’s air this winter was more polluted than Chinese capital Beijing, which Gufran Beig’s of the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ System for Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) had questioned recently.

The CPCBs’ own record on releasing data of areas having high pollution had not been very encouraging for people seeking information on real time basis. Its air pollution monitoring website many a times shows the “data under scrutiny” for areas having high particulate matter (PM) pollution. This principle will also apply to DPCC now.

“The data for notified monitored parameters from all monitoring stations will be sent to CPCB for analysis and authenticated air quality information will be communicated to DPCC on daily basis for further dissemination,” said an environment ministry statement on Tuesday.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by Shailesh Nayak, secretary ministry of Earth Sciences on Monday to “maximise” usage of data generated and “harmonise” observations.

“Instead of regulating the air quality data, it would have been better if the CPCB would have been given the mandate to improve capacity of the state pollution control boards in quality monitoring of air across cities. CPCB should ensure that high quality real time air pollution data should be available for public,” said Anumita Roy Chaudhary of Centre for Science and Environment.

Apart from DPCC, air quality in Delhi is monitored by CPCB and the Indian Meteorological Department through SAFAR. The three agencies monitor air quality data at 26 locations in the capital, maximum for any city in the country but does not have a uniform mechanism to disseminate the information on real time basis.

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First Published: Mar 11, 2015 01:07 IST