Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) finally shortlisted Environment AS India to set up air quality monitoring stations in five places across the city.
The proposal of installing these five Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) will now be tabled before the Standing Committee on Wednesday for the final nod.
The five CAAQMS will come up in Mahul village in Chembur, Shivaji Nagar in Govandi; Pant Nagar in Ghatkopar, Charkop in Kandivli (West) and Veer Mata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan And Zoo in Byculla. These five stations will be the first real-time network setup by BMC in Mumbai, apart from the 10 existing stations run by the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) and another 15 by MPCB. These five stations will also have display boards showing the air quality index (AQI) with its impact and weather information for 24 hours.
The civic body will spend over 10.90 crore for the project of which 6.5 crore will be used for setting up the systems while the remaining amount will be used for the maintenance of the stations for the next five years.
"The technical aspects of the bids were scrutinised in March. Following this, we scrutinised the financial aspect and prepared a proposal for negotiating finances with the firms which responded. Finally we shortlisted and appointed one company," said an executive engineer of the BMC Environment department.
"The project includes supply, installation of these five stations and three years warranty with the contractor. The contractor will also be responsible for the maintenance of these stations for the next five years," the official added.
These stations will record levels of PM2.5 and PM10, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons carbon monoxide, ozone, and ammonia. “These stations will transfer online data to Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The idea is to do better planning to combat air pollution, which is possible only when there is area-specific air quality data. There is no delay as such in the project, though we did lose some time to pandemic related issues," the BMC official said.
The five locations where the CAAQMS will be set up are part of the first phase of BMC’s plan. The selected locations were identified as critically polluted by the CPCB in 2014. After setting up these five stations, the BMC is planning to set up more stations in the second phase of the project.
The locations being discussed for the next set of stations are Love Grove pumping station in Worli, Hasnabad Municipal School in Khar (West), a municipal school in Tilak Nagar, Chembur, KMJ Phule Hospital in Vikhroli, T-Ward office in Mulund (West) and selected spots in Prabhadevi, Saki Naka, and Oshiwara.
An official said, "The second phase will entail the installation of 127 sensor-based low-cost air monitoring devices across select locations."
These stations are being set up under the Centre’s National Clean Air Program, which was launched by the Union Environment Ministry in 2019. The programme aims to reduce the pollution levels across the country to less than 20% in the next five years.
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