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Pollution in Delhi Slightly Better This Winter, Shows SAFAR

Pollution levels in New Delhi have registered a slightly better record this year compared to alst year with a slight improvement but no reason to celebrate either, said Gufran Beig, project director of the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting Research (SAFAR),

He said the levels of the dangerous fine particulate matter PM 2.5 had not reached the levels recorded in last year. "The PM2.5 levels are hovering between 180 and 200 micrograms per cubic metre. It doesn’t mean that air quality is good, but it is relatively better than last year,” he said.

Referring to improvement to the warmer temperatures and high wind speed seen this winter, he said cold temperatures make it more difficult for pollutants to disperse, but November and December bein gwarmer this year improved the situation. “There is more awareness this year so everyone is talking about air quality. A cold spell of two or three days could make the air quality dip,” he said.

As of Wednesday, SAFAR forecast stated that the level of PM2.5 will be around 182 micrograms per cubic metre, while on Sunday it was higher at 200 micrograms per cubic metre. It means Sunday’s record was three times more than the standard of 60 and could be classifed as “very poor” in Delhi.

The SAFAR observational network of Air Quality Monitoring Stations (AQMS) and Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) in city limits represents selected microenvironments of the city including industrial, residential, background/ cleaner, urban complex, agricultural zones etc. as per international guidelines to give out the true representation of city environment.

Air Quality indicators are monitored at about 3 m height from the ground with online sophisticated instruments. These instruments are operated round the clock and data is recorded and stored at every 5 minute interval for quality check and further analysis.

Pollutants monitored: PM1, PM2.5, PM10, Ozone, CO, NOx (NO, NO2), SO2, BC, Methane (CH4), Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), VOC’s, Benzene, Mercury.

Monitored Meteorological Parameters: UV Radiation, Rainfall, Temperature, Humidity, Wind speed, Wind direction, solar radiation.

SAFAR is the first of such kind of network in India that continuously monitors these parameters and maintains up to date data base.

Mobile App: Earth System Science Organization- Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (ESSO-IITM), Pune has also launched a mobile Application “System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research –Air” (SAFAR-Air) for Delhi and Pune and the app can be downloaded from the website: http://safar.tropmet.res.in/ .

SAFAR Delhi observational network

Sr. NO. AQMS Locations Institute / Organisation
1 Pusa Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Delhi
2 Delhi University Delhi University
3 Palam IGI Airport
5 Mathura road CRRI, Mathura road
6 Aya Nagar IMD, Aya Nagar
7 Lodhi Road IMD, Lodhi Road
8 Pitampura DTTE, Pitampura
9 Dheerpur CVR, Dheerpur
10 Gurgaon NISE, Gurgaon

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