Environment Ministry wants new air pollution control methods before winters

The expert group, the ministry said, aims at better air quality management in next three months.

The Union Environment Ministry on Monday held meeting with expert institutions including ISRO to discuss the satellite-based measurement for improving air quality information and management ahead of the winters.

Air-pollution causing smog in New Delhi. Image: AP

Air-pollution causing smog in New Delhi. Image: AP

The expert group, the ministry said, aims at better air quality management in next three months before the onset of winters.

The meeting headed by Envrionment Secretary C.K. Mishra also included experts from Department of Science and Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's National Physical Laboratory, IIT Delhi, IIT Mumbai, the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, the India Meteorological Department, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and the Bureau of Indian Standards.

During the meeting, experts discussed use of satellite-based Aerosol Optical Depth data for estimating ground-based PM2.5 or particle with a diameter less than 2.5 microns.

The monitoring aims at early warning system and dissemination protocol to inform public and enforcing agencies about episodic high pollution events in advance, said an Environment Ministry statement.

In November 2016 and 2017, the air pollution levels of Delhi crossed the severe level, compelling the government to impose several restrictions on industrial and construction activities, close down the schools and warn people to avoid outdoor activities including morning walks.

"The meeting discussed the issue of assessment of air pollution mitigation technologies and implementing solutions found technically feasible on a pilot basis, before the onset of winter," the statement said.

The Ministry also explored the idea of setting up of a system for certification of air quality emission monitoring instruments, which it said that will provide a boost to local manufacturing such instruments as since calibration and certification could be done domestically.

It also decided that DST will the lead on technology interventions for its possible use before the onset of winter when the pollution levels shoot.

"National Physical Laboratory will be the certification agency for air quality measurement instruments. Certification of PM2.5 and PM10 volume samplers will commence from September 2018," a ministry official said.

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