Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Air Pollution Monitor Gathering Dust in Nagpur

@ Times of India - The new, state-of-the-art ambient air quality monitor of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is lying disused at the Divisional Commissionerate square as the officials of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) are yet to inspect it. The device, costing about Rs1 crore was provided to MPCB local office in December by CPCB itself. An MPCB official said on the condition of anonymity that the device was ready for commissioning but the local office was waiting for a nod from CPCB and MPCB head office. "CPCB officials were supposed to visit the city in this month," he added.

This device continuously monitors the ambient air quality and the results will be displayed on MPCB's website. The existing ones do it only for two days a week and the paper has to be changed manually. This automatic device measures levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, ozone, ammonia and particular matter (PM) 10 and PM 2.5. On the basis of this data, MPCB can determine the level of metals like lead in its laboratory.

MPCB has four other devices which are installed at Institute of Engineers on North Ambazari Road, Government Polytechnic, Udyog Bhavan and office of MIDC Industries Association (MIA) in Hingna. Question marks have been raised over the choice of location of the device. According to environmentalist Sudhir Paliwal, if the air quality of Nagpur was to be determined on the basis of the new device then it will present a wrong picture because of its location. "It should have been installed at a place like Sitabuldi, Itwari or Sadar which are highly polluted. The existing devices too have been put up at places where pollution level is low," he said.

Paliwal further said that such devices should be put up in localities like Mankapur, Nara, Nari and like others which bear the brunt of emissions of Koradi and Khaparkheda power plants. "Koradi plant is being expanded and soon air pollution in north Nagpur will reach alarming levels. This, however, will not be properly reflected by the readings taken in Civil Lines," he added.

Monday, February 15, 2016

TERI Concludes that the Benefits of Odd/Even Plan are Difficult to Assess

Air pollutant concentrations have been consistently high in the city of New Delhi over the last many years. Transport sector has been identified by a number of research studies as an important source of pollution in the city. To examine ways to address the issue, Delhi Government decided to implement the social experiment, i.e. the ‘odd-even’ scheme from January 1, 2016 to January 15, 2016 in which plying of privately owned cars was restricted on alternate days based on the last digit (odd/even) of the registration number. TERI analyzed the ambient air pollutant concentrations in the city of Delhi from 24th Dec 2015 (before Odd-Even scheme) to 15th Jan 2016 (during which ‘odd-even’ scheme was implemented) and concluded that the benefits of Odd/Even Plan are difficult to assess.

Link to the TERI report.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

CPCB Report - Air Pollution in Indian Cities

@ Times of India - The capital lost a dubious crown on Friday with the country's pollution watchdog saying it is not India's most polluted city, perhaps not even the second worst. But Central Pollution Control Board's (CPCB) data for the September 2015-January 2016 period clearly shows that Delhi's air is far from healthy. CPCB has published air quality indices (AQI) for 24 cities that help in comparing pollution levels at a glance with a colour code and a numerical value. In India, AQIs are determined based on the concentrations of seven pollutants, including PM2.5 (fine, respirable particles), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO).

Thursday, February 04, 2016

London Air - from KING's College London

Click here to know what the air quality is in London or browse the below.

Air Pollution in Paris

The AIRCITY Project aims to develop a routine high-resolution air quality now-casting and forecasting tool for the City of Paris. Based on the PMSS code, the simulation system covers a 12x10km area with 3m resolution. Click here for more details.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Delhi's Landfills Overflowing with a Looming Threat to Burn and Pollute

Delhi faces the threat of a major fire tragedy and consequent rise in pollution like after the Deonar fire in Mumbai which enveloped the city in thick smoke last week.

The presence of three landfill sites in the city - Bhalswa (in the northwest), Okhla (southeast) and Ghazipur (east) is primarily responsible for it. The landfill sites catch fire during summers and often rag pickers set them ablaze. Together, the three sites occupy close to 150 acres of land - twice the size of the Vatican City. They receive about 9,000 metric tonnes of garbage a day and stand at close to 25 metres each - about the height of a 10-storey building. All of them reached their retirement age around 2006 and should have been 'capped and reclaimed'. However, for the lack of land, Delhi's municipal corporations continue to use them. The landfills leach toxic juices into the ground and are perennially ablaze.

"There are small fires burning on the hill top always. It's because filth is rotting inside in layers. During summers, when the temperature is especially high, methane gas is generated. When it comes in contact with air, fire erupts," explained Shashi Bhushan Pandit, who works with rag pickers at these sites.

Read more @ Mail Today