New Delhi: On Wednesday the Delhi Congress said that a facility to monitor pollutants and air quality here in real-time, which was supposed to become functional on October 20, is yet to begin operations. The city government termed the claim by congress as baseless.
The Congress party’s city president, Anil Kumar, who visited the center, also alleged that machines are still being procured at the supersite, notwithstanding the air quality index (AQI) reaching severe in a few parts of the national capital. The Delhi government, in partnership with IIT-Kanpur, has come up with a supersite, equipped for checking various compounds, at Rouse Avenue to screen air quality in real-time and make forecasts.
“The supersite that had to be made functional on October 20 to keep track of pollution is yet to start operations. It is still in the development stage and machines are still being procured. This is despite the AQI reaching ‘severe’ in many parts of the city,” Mr. Kumar said.
On Wednesday morning Delhi’s air quality improved imperceptibly owing to relatively better meteorological circumstances to stand at 376. As per the Central Pollution Control Board, the 24-hour average index was 424 at 4 pm on Tuesday, the worst since December 26 last year when it was 459.
An AQI of above 400 is considered severe and can impact healthy people and seriously impact those with existing illnesses. Responding to the allegations, project in-charge Mukesh Sharma said equipment has been acquired and installed. He said real-time data will be shared with the public after November 10. The Delhi government’s environment department in a discourse said the allegations leveled by the Congress are baseless and that testing of equipment at the supersite has been done.
“All equipment has been purchased for real-time source apportionment study. It takes about two weeks for the internal validation of all data. The process started about three to four days ago and it will take another week to complete it,” Mr. Sharma said.
“Data, including on pollution compounds and real-time AQI, and forecasting data will be available to the public after November 10,” he said.
Environment department officials said a meeting was likewise led by the department’s principal secretary on November 1 at the Delhi Secretariat in which the project in charge gave a live demonstration on real-time data being monitored through different devices installed at the supersite.
“Some of the equipment for the facility have been imported. Technical teams of all the companies have installed and tested all these tools. Data from all the devices are reaching the computer system in the right way,” an official of the department said.