Air quality monitoring system for CWG launched (Lead)

September 22nd, 2010 - 10:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) The air quality monitoring system for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) which will provide real-time pollution data at 11 key locations in the city during the mega-event was launched in the capital Wednesday.
Developed by scientists at the Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), the System of Air Pollution Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) was launched at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here by Shailesh Nayak, secretary in the ministry of earth sciences.

SAFAR will provide information on air quality on an hourly basis and forecast pollution levels 24 hours in advance through wireless colour digital display panels located at 11 key points near the Games venues and the Games Village.

“This is for the first time that India will have a system for air quality forecasting and New Delhi will be the first city in the country to be able to provide 24-hour advance air quality forecast,” said Shailesh Nayak.

The system will measure pollutants namely Ozone, Oxides of Nitrogen, Carbon Monoxide, Particulate Matters Less Than (PM2.5), Particulate Matters less than (PM10), Benzene, Toluene, Xylene and Black carbon.

“The prior knowledge of these parameters will help the organisers, managers and athletes prepare and plan efficiently. The system will continue for six months and will be later replicated in other metro cities,” he said.

The IITM has also prepared an emission inventory for the Games to provide accurate air quality information.

“The inventory has been prepared using data - number of vehicles, industries, shanties, hotels and restaurants and other sources - collected from near Games venues and the Games Village after a two-month long exercise. It will be crucial in air quality forecasting,” said Gurfan Beig, scientist from IITM who is heading the project.

Eleven air quality monitoring stations, 34 automatic weather stations in NCR along with GPS observations and doppler weather radar have been installed in the city. The pollution levels will be displayed on LED and LCD screens located at 20 different locations in the city.

“The system has already started working and air pollution is being monitored across 11 major CWG venues in Delhi over the past three weeks,” said Beig.

Some 7,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries and territories are expected to participate in the Games, India’s biggest sporting event since the 1982 Asian Games.

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