Chandigarh: Three continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) set up in Punjab, where the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has installed machines to monitor the air pollution 24×7, are likely to be operational from June 30. These are already installed at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, industrial area of Mandi Gobindgarh and at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. These machines which cost around Rs 1.5 crore each have been imported from France, which will monitor eight ambient air quality parameters, including PM10, PM2.5 and generate real time data.
“Once these stations get operational, we will be able to trace the root cause of the pollution using the data which will eventually help us control the situation and work out our strategies,” said PPCB chairman Manpreet Singh Chatwal. These stations have been equally funded by the Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi, and PPCB, including the recurring cost, which will be shared by both for five years, after which the PPCB will bear the cost. The project has been has been outsourced to a Mumbai-based company Environment Essay India Limited, which is managing the projects at all three stations.
The company has been given a deadline of June 30 for the stabilization period after which the company will have to start providing the data. “The PPCB will install specific electronic display boards on important crossings in the cities, where the data will be displayed, to sensitize the public,” claimed Chattwal. He also added that the data would also be uploaded on the Central Pollution Control Board website and inside as well as outside the Golden Temple. The main objective behind monitoring the ambient air quality is to draw an action plan for pollution in Amritsar, Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh, which are considered as highly polluted in the state. The CAAQMS installed at the Golden Temple has been covered under the one million plus population scheme of the CPCB, where as other two have been covered under critically polluted area scheme.
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