An official with Delhi’s pollution control board said tenders would soon be launched for such sensors.
Experts said the use of sensors could help agencies monitor the pollution load at the super local level. The Delhi-NCR region has 146 monitoring stations and of these, 81 give real-time information while 65 are monitored manually.
Nearly a quarter of all real-time monitors in the country are in Delhi-NCR, but there is an asymmetry in the distribution of these monitors as 50% of them are located in Delhi and the rest spread mainly in the four NCR cities of Faridabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon. The other districts in the NCR only have one real-time monitor each.
Delhi has a sufficient number of regulatory controllers and needs to focus on data quality control and dissemination. The CAQM policy states, “Sensor-based monitoring has created an opportunity to generate data to fill data gaps and map exposures where regulatory oversight is inadequate. The National Clean Air Program has considered the application of sensor monitors which are much less expensive than regulatory monitors. He adds that the CPCB is considering a pilot study to assess the effectiveness of the sensors.
A DPCC official said: “Although we prepared a plan last year to install low-cost sensors in pollution hotspots, the proposal was not approved. Following the recommendation of the CAQM, we will now launch a tender for the purchase of low-cost sensors to monitor certain hotspots as part of a pilot project.
Delhi has 13 pollution hotspots namely Okhla Phase-II, Dwarka, Ashok Vihar, Bawana, Narela, Mundka, Punjabi Bagh, Wazirpur, Rohini, Vivek Vihar, Anand Vihar, RK Puram and Jahangirpuri.
Sachchida N Tripathi from the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and Steering Committee Member of the National Clean Air Programme, said, “Low-cost sensors can be used to increase government networking by adding more knots to the measurement. . This can help generate more data at a hyper-local scale. However, it is important that the sensors are well calibrated and that the data is used carefully in conjunction with regulatory and government agencies.
Ronak Sutaria, co-founder and CEO of Respirer Living Sciences, added, “The use of low-cost sensor-based technology for multi-dimensional monitoring as well as dust control measurements at construction sites, roads, open spaces, hot spots, etc. , by the CAQM is a clear indication that an affordable and validated technology for air quality monitoring can be adopted by agencies to monitor and regulate emissions from pollution sources.