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Delhi: To curb pollution, its sources to be tracked in real time

At pollution hotspots in Delhi, monitoring stations in the form of a ‘super site’ and a ‘mobile site’ will be set up to study the dynamic characteristics of fine particles suspended in the air — called particulate matter (PM).

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
February 10, 2021 6:38:29 am
Delhi air pollution, Delhi pollution hotspots, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM, Delhi news, Indian express newsTo detect the cause of a spike in pollution at a hotspot, the chemical composition of the PM will be studied. (File)

The sources of air pollution in Delhi will be identified in real time to guide mitigation measures under a new project that received Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s approval on Tuesday.

A proposal for undertaking the project headed by the IITs in Delhi and Kanpur, and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) will now be presented before the state Cabinet.

Kejriwal held a meeting with experts from the institutes Tuesday, after which he tweeted: “We will work with them to implement it in Delhi. If we know the source of pollution on a real time basis, it will help us take immediate action.”

At pollution hotspots in Delhi, monitoring stations in the form of a ‘super site’ and a ‘mobile site’ will be set up to study the dynamic characteristics of fine particles suspended in the air — called particulate matter (PM).

To detect what is causing the spike in pollution at that hotspot, the chemical composition of the PM will be studied.

“This will help us identify the type of activity — industries, construction and others — whose emissions are associated with that chemical composition,” an official said.

Concentration of PM pollutants often reaches 10 times their acceptable limit in Delhi in winters, aided by poor weather conditions.

Sources that cause air pollution in the capital have been identified in previous studies by IIT-Kanpur, TERI and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). However, a real time assessment will tell agencies the factors that need attention in a short span of time.

“The CM was satisfied with the presentation of the researchers of IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, and TERI. During the meeting he directed the officials to start the process of using this technology. The Delhi government will bring the proposal of setting up these advanced techniques to study the real time pollution sources in front of the Cabinet, post which the work will be started,” a statement from the CM office said.

A similar study for real time source apportionment was initiated in the capital in 2018 by the University of Washington under the Delhi government, which officials said was terminated this year.

A panel of experts set up by the government had found shortcomings in the study last year. A Delhi government spokesperson did not respond to a query on the reason behind the termination.

The cost of the new study is around Rs 11 crore, higher than Rs 1.2 crore budgeted for the previous study.

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