The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, has predicted four likely air pollution “hotspots” in the capital during the first two weeks of October and submitted details, including sources of pollution and recommended actions to improve the situation, to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Praising its in-house “bi-weekly forecasting system”, Professor (Dr) Mukesh Khare of IIT-Delhi said the tool can predict “what is going to happen”, “where action should be taken”, and “the major source” of pollution in a particular hotspot.
He was speaking at the International Symposium on Air Pollution — Causes, Mitigation & Strategic Planning at Amity University in Gurgaon Friday.
“We have designed a bi-weekly forecasting system at the hotspot level, which the CPCB is trying to study. We have already given a plan for the period of October 1-15, and have found four hotspots in Delhi where we have identified sources that are going to make PM2.5 increase… The CPCB has already met the Chief Secretary of Delhi, and the Chief Secretary has already instructed the different departments to take action,” said Khare.
Khare and officials from CPCB, however, refused to divulge details of the hotspots, with the latter stating that they would share them during the media briefing on September 26.
Speaking to The Indian Express on the sidelines, he said, “The entire forecast is done at the level of hotspots. If we look at Anand Vihar, we recommend what could be the forecast, and then develop scenarios accordingly. For example, if buses were banned, what would be the impact, or if they were reduced by 50%, what would be the impact.”
Khare said similar hotspots have also been identified in five cities in the NCR, but added that Gurgaon is not on the list due to lack of data: “For this kind of work, we need data that is continuous, and calibration and reliability of instrumentation, which was not the case.”