Unable to get a piece of land in the core of the city for establishing a state-of-the-art air quality monitoring station, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has now developed the hi-tech station on its premises in Hebbal here.

Real-time monitoring of ambient air quality has begun and the pollution levels recorded on Monday were found to be within the national limits.

The facility, called Online Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station, was established at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.5 crore and is maintained by a private agency. It can monitor around 20 parameters, including rainfall. An electronic display has been installed next to the station where continuously monitored data is displayed one after the other for public knowledge.

KSPCB regional environment officer B.M. Prakash told
The Hindu
that the station has been developed on a 12×15 ft room and is fully computer-controlled without any manpower requirement.

Carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ammonia, ozone, particulate matter, ethane, benzene, xylene, and other parameters can be monitored in real time and the data is available online on www.kspcb.kar.nic.in.

Ambient temperature, humidity, wind speeds, radiation levels, and rainfall can also be monitored using the hi-tech equipment at the station, he added. “Data from 15 minutes to 24 hours can be retrieved. There are different machines for different parameters and all are sensor-based,” Mr. Prakash said.

The KSPCB was earlier manually monitoring four major air pollutants using conventional methods. With the station coming up, pollutants can be monitored continuously, especially during festivals when the air pollution level rises because of the use of firecrackers.

Sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, suspended particulate matter, and respirable suspended particulate matter are the four major pollutants that were monitored manually. According to the revised National Ambient Air Quality Standards, ozone, arsenic, nickel, benzene and benzo(a)pyrene, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and lead have been included for continuous monitoring.

Colour code

Colour codes are given depending on the extent of reading — green for good, light green for satisfactory, yellow for moderate and so on. The air quality standards have been revised to toughen measures to control air pollution in tune with the norms in many developed countries.

Such a station is also coming up at Chamarajanagar and other key tier II cities.

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