The official framework of determining the Air Quality Index (AQI) used by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has now received an international nod. SAFAR has been providing real-time AQI forecasts since 2015 and is affiliated with the Union Ministry of Earth and Sciences. In Mumbai itself, SAFAR records the AQI at 10 stations, including one in Navi Mumbai.
According to researchers associated with the organisation, the findings from this framework can help determine the air quality forecast in advance in comparison to a regular weather forecast. Founder of SAFAR and project director Dr Gufran Beig said that the forecasting model used by SAFAR is comparable to the framework used by the United States Environment Protection Agency (US-EPA).
Recently, the findings of SAFAR framework were published in the peer-reviewed Elsevier Journal.
According to Dr Beig, SAFAR chose to demonstrate its forecasting model in four Indian cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad – as mandated by the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The research findings stated that the most dominating emission source from these five cities was vehicle emmission, which was found to be 41 per cent in Delhi, 40 per cent in Pune, 35 per cent in Ahmedabad and 31 per cent in Mumbai.
The research further stated that the share of Bio-Fuel emmission is highest in Mumbai (15.5 per cent) followed by Pune (11.4 per cent), Ahmedabad (10.2 per cent) and Delhi (3 per cent).
The research also mentioned that industrial emmission is also highest in Mumbai (31.1%) followed by Pune (21.6%) Ahmedabad (18.8%) and Delhi (18.6%).
Beig said that the framework can be easily adapted across all the other cities as well, which would help the stakeholders responsible for setting up an Air Quality Forecast system.