Source: The Times Of India | Posted on 13 October 2018
Now, see the quality of air you breathe
To assess the impact of industrial air pollution on urban air of Maharashtra, the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC-India) has now made the ambient air quality data of over 25 cities accessible for the public.
As reported by TOI earlier, EPIC-India, in association with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and other institutions, has launched a first-of-its-kind star-rating programme in the state. Launched in June last year, the programme monitors industrial air pollution in ten clusters of the state, and gives ratings to the industries based on the median concentration of latest stack samples for particulate matter.
To further substantiate how industrial pollution is affecting the ambient air quality of different regions, the programme has recently added a new feature, where citizens can know the exact quality of air they breathe.
In the same website, which displays star-rating for industries (mpcb.info), a ‘city rating’ page displays data for 63 monitoring stations across 25 cities of the state. The information is based on the ambient air quality monitoring carried out by MPCB. “Users can view the readings of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) from various monitoring stations of their city, as well as the date on which the most recent reading was captured. Apart from this, they can also download the last 30 readings from each of the displayed ambient station,” stated EPIC-India.
As per the latest readings, the air quality at the station located in Civil Lines, Nagpur, is ‘satisfactory’ while that at Hingna Road and North Ambazari Road is ‘moderate’. The air quality recorded at stations in Thane and Khargar is ‘good’, Navi Mumbai is ‘satisfactory’, while Bandra is ‘moderate’.
Stations in Pune have recorded ‘good’ air
With public disclosure of ambient air quality, the programme aims to raise awareness about the issue of pollution as well as major polluters in the region.
“Air Pollution is still looked at as a generic and cliché issue. It is important to know that urban centres like Nagpur also bear the brunt of industrial air pollution from units around the periphery of the city. Citizens can now use this platform to get a sense of how clean the air they breathe is. We are making sure that information is flowing transparently to people on a consistent basis,” said Ishan Choudhary, communications and outreach coordinator at EPIC-India.