City scientists to predict Mumbai’s air quality

After Delhi and Pune,now it is the turn of Mumbai to get its own model to predict the quality of air.

Written by Anuradha Mascharenhas | Pune | Published:October 25, 2013 2:39 am

After Delhi and Pune,now it is the turn of Mumbai to get its own model to predict the quality of air. System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) scientists will soon install air quality monitoring stations in Mumbai for Rs 15 crore.

“In the light of the recent release of World Health Organisation (WHO) stating that particulate pollution was one of the major causes of lung cancer,the SAFAR project is important as it will forecast the quality of air 24-72 hours in advance. For instance,harmful gases are discharged from vehicles,industries,slums and get stagnated in a humid region like Mumbai. Our system will predict the quality of air and also provide city pollution maps and weather information,which help them to identify the most polluted and less polluted areas in Mumbai,” said Dr Gufran Beig,programme director of SAFAR.

This would help them take precautionary measures and protect themselves from harmful health effects,Beig added. The advantage of the system product is that it will give complicated scientific information in simple terms and also provide Air Quality Index – health advisory and UV Index – skin advisory and dynamic city pollution maps. Scientists are planning to provide this information on digital display boards in Marathi and English. The integrated voice response service,which is at present operational for Delhi and Pune (toll free number 18001801717),will also be available for Mumbai once it is functional in around six months.

The stations would be set up in three-four months,Beig said. For the 30 monitoring stations,areas like Borivali,Malad-Malvani,Bhandup,Warsova,Andheri,Sakinaka,Kurla,Dharavi,Mahim,Worli,Byculla,Colaba,Chembur,Mahul,Mankhurd and others will cover various micro environment,including residential,commercial,industrial,slum,coastal -industrial,coastal – background and background/clean sites,in the city.

Display boards forecasting air-quality parameters will also be put up at the BMC office near Mumbai CST,Haji Ali Chowk,Sena Bhavan,Sanjay Gandhi National Park,MIT Chowk,Kalanagar Chowk,Regal Cinema, Gateway of India and Church Gate Station.

The emission inventory campaign,which is required for accurate prediction of air quality through super computer-based models,is planned to be started by the second week of November and will last for around two months.

Under the campaign,students would collect activity data on the number of vehicles at different traffic junctions of Mumbai,fuel type and its estimation in slum areas,Beig said.

Quality Check

* The stations would be set up in three-four months

* Quality of air will be forecasted 24-72 hours in advance

* City pollution maps and weather information will be provided

* Students would collect activity data on the number of vehicles at different traffic junctions

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