To get more area-specific air quality data, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to set up continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) at five places in the city. BMC officials said these five CAAQMS will come up at Mahul village in Chembur, Shivaji Nagar in Deonar, Pant Nagar in Ghatkopar; Charkop in Kandivali and Byculla Zoo. The stations will also have display boards showing air quality index (AQI) with its impact and weather information for 24 hours. The BMC has invited tenders for appointing agencies to set up stations. It would cost the civic body about Rs 10 crore.
These stations will record levels of PM2.5 and PM10, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons carbon monoxide, ozone, and ammonia.
“These stations will transfer online data to MPCB and CPCB. The idea is to do better planning to combat air pollution, which is possible only when there is area-specific air quality data.” The BMC is in the process of appointing a contractor for the work.
A civic body-appointed agency will also take care of these stations for five years. There are 25 CAAQMS in Mumbai set up by SAFAR (System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research) and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) which display 24-hour air quality data. The BMC will set up more stations in the second phase.
These stations are being set up under the Centre’s National Clean Air Program, which was launched by the Union Environment Ministry in 2019. The programme aims to reduce the pollution levels across the country to less than 20% in the next five years.
As per the BMC’s Environment Status Report (ESR), air pollution levels have remained above the permissible limits in the year 2019-20. The annual average PM10 concentration was found to be at 93 µg/m3 (micrograms/cubic metre). This is over 1.5 times the daily safe limit of 60ug/m3 — the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) standard. PM 2.5 concentration was of 54 µg/m3, which is nearly five times above the limit prescribed by WHO. As per the CPCB standards, PM2.5 concentration of 40 µg/m3 should be maintained. The BMC data had also shown that BKC remained the most polluted with an annual average concentration of 67 µg/m3.
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