Gaps in July air quality data in Gurugram, FaridabadUpdated: Aug 02, 2020 23:59 IST
Air quality monitoring stations in Gurugram and Faridabad installed in January failed to transmit or capture over a week’s worth of data in July, according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) national air quality index website.
The two districts have fourair quality monitors each, including the new ones - two in Gurugram and three in Faridabad. They record fine and coarse particulate matter concentrations, while also recording the levels of carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, all of which are calculated to arrive at the air quality index.
While the two new Gurugram monitors are located on the Gurugram-Faridabad Road and sector 51, Faridabad’s are located in sector 11, sector 30 and VK Chowk in the New Industrial Township area. After testing, they began operations on March 6.
While March and June went off without a glitch, gaps in data on the CPCB website emerged in July -- the Gurugram-Faridabad Road one missed 11 days’ data, sector 51 lost data for seven days. In Faridabad, the one at VK Chowk missed 11 days’ data, sector 30 did not have data for four days, while sector 11 lost nearly the month.
JB Sharma, senior scientist and head of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) air quality cell in Panchkula, initially attributed these deficiencies to a possible lack of upkeep since the lockdown, that began on March 25 just days after the new monitors began transmitting data to the CPCB server in Delhi.
Sharma later said, “I can’t say for sure as the matter has just been brought to my attention. It may also be a case of poor internet connectivity or erratic electricity supply, because of which the data is not being reflected in the CPCB server. I will have to check up with the regional officers of the districts before making further comments.”
Kuldeep Singh, the HSPCB’s regional officer in Gurugram, and Dinesh Kumar, his counterpart in Faridabad, did not responded to requests for comment on Saturday. [QUOTE TO BE ADDED IF IT ARRIVES]
Sachin Panwar, a city based air quality scientist, said, “Data from new monitors is valuable so long as it is available to researchers, scientists and policy makers. Gurugram and Faridabad are both very data deficient when it comes to air pollution, and we have been waiting for several years for the situation to change. It is good that we have got these new monitors, but maintaining credible data is a hands on process and regular checks need to be done.”