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Five new air monitors before Diwali for pollution study

Publish on October 08, 2017     Source: Times of India


GURUGRAM: Five temporary air monitoring machines will be installed at select locations for a comprehensive study of pollution levels in different parts of the city before and after Diwali, when the concentration of atmospheric particulate matters records a spike every year.

Further, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) is set to start a survey, reportedly in a first-of-its-kind initiative, to assess the impact of the sudden rise in pollution on the lung functioning of citizens during this time.

Officials at HSPCB said the five machines were most likely to be installed on MG Road near Iffco Chowk, Sohna Road near Subhash Chowk, at the bus stand in old Gurgaon, Cyber City and Sector 4. The machines will remain active for at least a week starting October 15 and, along with the existing air monitor at Vikas Sadan, will provide a wide spectrum of data for an in-depth analysis of PM 2.5 levels and ambient air quality during the festive week.

"The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has directed us to keep tabs on the air pollution levels right from October 15. Accordingly, we will measure air quality five locations, at least, before and after Diwali," said a senior HSPCB official.

Moreover, the state board is going to launch a survey, mostly likely this week, to understand the immediate effects of the rising pollution and assess the correlation between the air quality and breathing problems, if any, faced by citizens. The survey, which is likely to continue till winter, will be conducted both in residential and commercial areas.

"We will demarcate the city in four zones to cover people from different walks of society. Respondents will be selected from office-goers, street vendors, shop owners, construction and other type labourers, homemakers, etc, who are exposed to the polluted air for varied durations. They will be given questionnaires and their answers will be analysed by experts," the HSPCB official explained. Also, the board is planning to conduct a few health check-up camps for better understanding.

A city-based pulmonologist, Narang Sethi, welcomed the move. "The state pollution board has finally woken up on an important issue concerning public health, thanks to CPCB and media coverage. The analysis of the correlation between air quality and lung functioning will help devise corrective measures and create awareness among the people," he added.

Experts, however, criticised the authorities for a delayed response to this pressing crisis. "I don't understand why the authorities are waiting for October 15 to take the steps. These measures should have been taken in September to prevent the situation from going out of hand," said Niranjan Raje, a former member of Environmental Pollution Control Board.

On Saturday, the concentration of PM 2.5 in the city varied between 85.67g/m³ and 99.08 g/m³, which is considered 'poor'. HSPCB officials claimed that the state board was planning to start the drive as soon as the situation turned 'very poor', that is PM2.5 level between 121 and 250 g/m³ .



Disclaimer: These are compilation of links to articles in media/journals/magazines in their original form. The opinion expressed in there articles do not necessarily represent the views of ENVIS/IITM.


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