Free Press Journal

Govt to ensure ‘authenticated’ info on Delhi air quality to people


New Delhi: As concerns were raised in Parliament over Delhi’s growing pollution levels, the government today it has decided to put in place a unified air quality monitoring system to ensure that “authenticated” information is available to people and gave details as to how the system would function.

The Union Environment Ministry said the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and IMD – the three agencies monitoring air quality in Delhi – have also developed a Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) of data “validation, analysis and dissemination” and gave comprehensive details as to how it would work.

“MoEF (Environment Ministry) together with MoES (Ministry of Earth Sciences) and DPCC have decided to put in position a unified system of air quality monitoring in Delhi to ensure authenticated air quality information to the public at large, given that three agencies – CPCB, DPCC and IMD monitor air quality,” an official statement said.

This comes after a joint meeting, chaired by Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, was held today which was attended by officials of Environment Ministry, CPCB, DPCC and IMD. Elaborating about the process, the ministry today said that data from monitoring stations of CPCB, DPCC and IMD will undergo basic data quality checks first at the station level using in-built software. It would then be transmitted to CPCB “every hour” through an automated system.

“Running average concentration values (01 and 08 hourly for CO, 08 hourly for O3 and 24 hourly for PM2.5, PM10, NO2, and others as per National Ambient Air Quality Standards. “…for all the monitoring stations will be calculated through an automated system at CPCB. These running average values would be disseminated continuously on hourly basis,” the official statement said, adding that existing continuous data reporting would continue.

All this comes after media reports suggested that the DPCC was allegedly rapped for releasing raw air quality data. The Union Environment Ministry also decided that DPCC’s data would be validated by CPCB before it is released online, the reports suggested. Serious concern was raised today in Rajya Sabha over the rising air pollution in Delhi, with a Congress member saying that many countries have reduced the tenure of their diplomats here due to the problem.