“Modern air quality monitoring system to be opened in Patna” by Parul Pandey, Times of India
By Parul Pandey
July 7, 2011
PATNA: The state capital has become the most polluted city in Bihar, with the rate of pollution doubling in the last five years. According to a survey done by the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) in 2010-11, the presence of small particulate matter (SPM) is more than double the required rate. SPM is the major reason for increase in air pollution in the city, says a BSPCB official.
“SPM has risen in the city because of the increasing number of vehicles, especially autos that use adulterated petrol, and neglect of cleanliness by the municipal corporation,” SN Jaiswal, scientist, BSPCB told TOI adding, “SPM rate should not be above 100 microgram per cubic meter annually. But as per our data of 2010-11, at Gandhi Maidan air quality monitoring station, it was measured at 204 microgram per cubic meter and at Beltron Bhawan (Bailey road) station 184 microgram per cubic meter. This is alarming.”
SPM is microscopic solid or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems such as irritation, coughing, difficulty in breathing, itching, redness of skin, mottling of teeth, yellowness of eyes, headache, respiratory tract irritation, sore throat and can also result into increased lung function, aggravated asthma, development of chronic bronchitis and irregular heartbeat.
Thick, black smoke belching out of the exhaust pipes of vehicles and swirls of dust picked up by the wind are its main sources.
In a bid to put a tab on the quality of air in the city accurately and know its sources, BSPCB is launching the city’s first continuous (online) ambient air quality monitoring (CAAQM) station on Friday at the Indira Gandhi Planetarium. Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi will inaugurate the station.
According to Dr Manoj Kumar Singh, member-secretary of BSPCC, this station would monitor the air contents in the city atmosphere. “Along with generating data we would also work on locating the exact source of air imbalance in the city. This data would be sent to the departments concerned, which are supposed to take action,” Singh told TOI.
“This CAAQM station is estimated to cost Rs 95 lakh. It has all the required sophisticated instruments including sulphur dioxide analyser, nitrogen dioxide analyser, carbon mono oxide analyser, particulate matter analyser, ozone analyser and benzene analyser,” said Singh.
At present, the city has two manually working air quality monitoring stations at Gandhi Maidan and Beltron Bhawan. The CAAQM station is one of its kind and electronically monitored. “All analysers here will work round-the-clock and real time data will be displayed at the planetarium,” said scientist Jaiswal.
Data generated by the station will be available on the website of Central Pollution Control Board, an official said.