A scientist from the University of Chicago Tuesday said Delhi needs a monitoring system that helps identify real time sources of pollutants.
The university has partnered with the Delhi government to start a crowd-sourcing programme for ideas to improve air and water quality in Delhi.
Michael Greenstone, director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and its Urban Labs’ Energy and Environment Lab, told The Indian Express, “There is a need for reliable information on what is contributing to the air in Delhi on a real-time basis. For instance, we should know how much open leaf burning has affected the air in the last half hour. It is important to have this data for scientists, regulators and the public.”
Greenstone added that Delhi also needs a “flexible penalty system”. “Right now, it is difficult to identify violators and track them for penalties,” he added.
Commenting on recent steps taken by the Central government, such as the national air quality index, Greenstone said it was “still not telling people
what to do”.
Asked about the need for a smog alert system which is yet to be put in place by the Centre or the Delhi government, he said, “The present system is just telling you the levels, but not informing the public of what they should do. There is a need for such an alert system for people to make sense of the data,”