Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board has begun the process of setting up 18 new CAAQMS in 8 cities of the state.
The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has ventured into setting up 18 new Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) in eight cities of the state. 5 of these air quality monitoring stations will be seated in Agra, 1 each in Mathura and Firozabad, 2 each in Lucknow and Kanpur and 3 each in Varanasi and Prayagraj. Gorakhpur will also be on the receiving end of one such station. This move has been planned at a time when air pollution in different cities of the country are soaring at an all-time high pace.
Lucknow to receive 4 Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations
According to UPPCB regional officer (Prayagraj) Pradeep Kumar Vishwakarma, the state currently has 25 Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations in 13 cities, including 4 each in Ghaziabad, Lucknow and Noida, 3 in Meerut, 2 in Greater Noida, besides 1 each in Agra, Baghpat, Bulandshahr, Hapur, Kanpur, Moradabad, Muzaffarnagar and Varanasi.
The 18 new air quality monitoring stations would be set up on land provided by the UPPCB authority. 5 of them would come up with funds provided by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and 10 from funds provided by the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Vishwakarma further added that the one in Gorakhpur would be set up through the UPPCB's own resources.
The UPPCB member-secretary, on behalf of the board, has already invited international bids for these high-end 24x7 monitoring stations, which would be connected to a data centre which will come up at the UPPCB headquarters in Lucknow and provide real-time data regarding the Air Quality Index (AQI) at any given moment.
But what is AQI?
AQI is a tool for effective communication of air quality status to people in terms which are easy to understand. It transforms complex air quality data of various pollutants into a single number (index value), nomenclature and colour. There are 6 AQI categories, namely good, satisfactory, moderately polluted, poor, very poor and severe. Each of these categories, is decided based on ambient concentration values of air pollutants and their likely health impacts, known as health breakpoints.
Daylight & Night-Vision data display system to be installed
Vishwakarma also mentioned that the plan was to award a single bidder the responsibility of "supply, installation and commissioning" of all 18 air quality monitoring stations in these 8 cities. They would have to depute one technician at each site to manage it besides a project officer and a data processor. The responsibility of managing these stations would be awarded to the bidder for a period of five years. As part of the initiative, one daylight and night-vision data display system will also be installed near the station to display air quality readings.