PUNE: The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) plans to upgrade its air quality monitoring system under the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) project, and is in talks with the ministry of Earth and Science (MoES) to get permission for the same. Scientists at IITM said that the upgradation is necessary considering more research-oriented data.
The SAFAR project was started to develop early warning systems in terms of air quality and weather in Indian metropolitan cities and investigate the role of air pollution and its impact on human health and crop yield. In Pune, the project was initiated in 2015. Currently under SAFAR, there are 10 active monitoring stations in various parts of Pune city and details of air quality and level of pollutants such as particulate matter, SOx, NOx, CO and Ozone; temperature; humidity; wind speed; weather forecast; and advisories are shared with citizens on a daily basis. While the system has worked very well so far in providing accurate information regarding the air quality of the city, the stations need to be upgraded in order to undertake further studies. Hence, the institute plans to upgrade the existing monitoring system.
B S Murthy, project director, SAFAR, said, “The existing monitoring system is capable enough of studying the parameters required to understand the air quality of the city. To undertake further studies however, the scientists require to check several other parameters. For this, the existing system needs to be upgraded. We are in talks with the MoES to get approval for the same. Once we receive approval from the ministry, we will issue a tender for the system upgradation.”