NEW DELHI: The Centre will on October 15 launch an air pollution prediction system for Delhi, making it easier for government’s pollution watchdogs to alert stakeholders and general public about air quality 48 hours in advance. The move will give them adequate time to take precautionary measures.
The system – called Air Quality Early Warning System – will have an in-built web-based dissemination tools to inform public and enforcement agencies about episodic high pollution events in advance. Such information may be helpful for general public in planning their outdoor activities.
The system is jointly developed by the scientists of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) Pune, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Noida and India Meteorological Department (IMD).
“The system, developed under overall coordination of ministry of earth sciences (MoES), will be handed over to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for dissemination of air quality information to all stakeholders and general public through the web-based dissemination tools,” said the IMD chief, K J Ramesh.
He told TOI that the CPCB would alert the authorities about emergency situation (episodic high pollution events), if any, in advance for taking precautionary measures on the ground.
The system will be launched by the Union minister of earth sciences, Harsh Vardhan. The facility will be expanded to the entire NCR and other cities in due course.
The system is devised by mapping of emissions (pollutants) from various sources and analysing quality of meteorological fields in urban areas – be it local air circulation, topographic effect, low winds or breeze conditions in certain months.
It’ll draw data round-the-clock from the state-of-the-art Air Quality and Weather Forecast System – SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) and different monitoring stations of the CPCB and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).
The alerts will help the authorities initiate actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) which envisages specific steps for different levels of air quality.
“Great to hear this. At least now after a year of GRAP being in force, we will be able to take strict actions on polluting sources to avoid air pollution episodes in Delhi and NCR. The GRAP will be transformed from reactionary to precautionary now,” said Sunil Dahiya, clean air campaigner of the Greenpeace India.
Source: Economic Times