Delhi govt nod to proposal for conducting study to identify sources of pollution real-time

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New Delhi, Jul 9 (PTI) The Delhi Cabinet Friday approved a proposal to conduct a study to delineate the sources of pollution here to help identify the factors behind the spike in air pollution at any particular spot in the city in real time, officials said.

The 'Real-time Source Apportionment' project will be executed in the national capital by a team of IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Delhi, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI) and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali.

The sources of pollution could be vehicles, dust, thermal power plants, biomass burning, stubble burning, and emissions from industries. There could be one or more sources of pollution at a particular place.

The officials said that after identifying the sources, immediate action can be taken to curb pollution, The city government had in 2018 roped in the University of Washington to conduct this study over a period of 18 months.

However, a three-member panel set up to examine the report submitted by the university raised several red flags, including over the methodology used and data generated, following which it was cancelled.

The government is expected to spend Rs 12 crore on the fresh study which will be conducted over the next two years.

A mobile laboratory equipped with instruments will scour various areas in Delhi. There will be a supersite where data will be collected and interpreted for necessary action, an official of the environment department said.

'The Delhi government would be the first to commission a study to find out and monitor the sources of air pollution on a real-time basis,' a statement quoted Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai as saying.

'The technology to carry out real-time source apportionment of pollution has not been implemented in any other city in the country,' he said.

Dr Mukesh Sharma, the IIT Kanpur scientist who will be leading the study, said, “The team from IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, TERI Delhi, and IISER Mohali is excited to partner with the Delhi government on this unique project which will provide daily and weekly forecasting of air quality, real-time diurnal source apportionment and suggest short-term daily and weekly actions to systematically assess, reduce and prevent air quality deterioration in Delhi for many years to come.” 'The developed mobile laboratory will provide apportionment of the sources at multiple locations and it will be perhaps the first-of-its-kind in the world,' he said. PTI GVS TIR TIR

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