Delhi to get 20 more air-quality monitoring stations

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Following a Supreme Court-appointed committee’s advocacy of better air-quality monitoring in the national capital and neighbouring regions, the Delhi government on Thursday announced setting up of 20 more stations.

The 20 new stations will be operated by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), which at present has only six operational stations.

“The increased number of pollution monitoring stations will help to not only understand the pollution situation here but also implement the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP),” a senior DPCC official told IANS.

At present, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has 16 stations, of which 10 are manual and can’t provide real-time air quality data. The Centre’s air quality research agency SAFAR has eight stations.

The new stations will monitor air pollutants like Particulate Matter (PM2.5, PM10), Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Benzene, Ammonia and Ozone.

“The Department of Environment will complete the tendering process by April, for which the consultancy wing of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is working as bid manager,” a Delhi government statement said.

The Supreme Court appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), which will enforce the GRAP, had asked for more monitoring stations in Delhi and the rest of the National Capital Region.

There are different categories under the GRAP. The enforcement efforts include temporary restrictions like odd-even traffic scheme, barring diesel generator sets, shutdown of brick kilns etc.