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City scientists pitch in to ensure ‘green’ Commonwealth

In a first of its kind initiative by city-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meterology...

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
September 30, 2009 4:13:46 am

In a first of its kind initiative by city-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meterology (IITM),scientists of the institute will assess the quality of air in Delhi during the Commonwealth Games next year. Scientists will be able to predict pollution levels 24 hours in advance at 10 key locations.

The scientists will provide information on the level of carbon or particulate matter in the air and pollution levels through digital panels. The testing of the quality of air will be carried out using a system of air quality forecasting and research (SAFAR). SAFAR includes the setting up of 10 pollution monitoring stations to measure CO,O3,Suspended Particulate Matters (PM 10 and PM 2.5 ),benzene and black carbon along with automatic weather stations within the model domain around 50 sq km area of the Games village in Delhi.

“Commonwealth Games promise to be a ‘green’ one and we have a commitment to ensure that the negative environmental impact of the games is minimised. The air quality monitoring systems will be set up at 10 locations and they will predict the pollution levels,” Dr Swati Basu,adviser to the Ministry of Earth Sciences,told The Indian Express. When contacted Dr Gufran Beig,Project Director of SAFAR at IITM said the system will provide and display information on air quality on a real time basis and forecast the future level of pollution 24 hours in advance at various key locations of CWG-2010 through wireless,true colour digital display panels. “Data will be collected on a particular day along with meteorological parameters that will be processed by our modelling team,” said Beig.

A database of the terrain,vegetation and other details is being prepared using GIS statistical modelling. The sets will act as input to the air quality forecasting model (called Atmospheric chemistry-transport model which is the result of the scientific expertise of IITM).

The model will then be run on the Ministry’s own computer at IITM or in Delhi on a daily basis.

Once the 24-hour advance forecast is obtained,it will be transmitted to a central server remotely and will be displayed along with the current level on an hourly basis (24×7) in terms of Air Quality Index (on Delhi’s geographical map,bar chart,color animated diagram).

The setting up of SAFAR is likely to be completed at least 3-4 months before the Games.

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