Air Quality Monitoring is Imperative

By: Staff Reporter
Interviews

New Delhi, April 1 (G’nY News Service): Air pollution has become a big cause of concern for the nation. With the national capital surpassing Beijing to become the most polluted cityin the world, it is important that the problem be addressed to save thepresent and the future generations.

Air monitoring is an important tool as it helps understandthe current state of pollution in a region. G’nY correspondent spoke with S. K. Gupta, Director, Envirotech Instruments Pvt. Ltd. to understand the significance of air pollution monitoring.

Envirotech is the leading manufacturer of air qualitymonitoring instruments in India and is the preferred supplier for allpollution control boards, prominent research institutions, leadingindustrial houses and environment consultants for their air pollutionmonitoring needs.

S K Gupta_Evirontech
S. K. Gupta, Director, Envirotech Instruments Pvt. Ltd.

What is the importance of air quality monitoring and why should it be done?

Monitoring of air quality is very important. Air pollution affects allforms of life, humans, animals, plants, vegetation and crops. Interestingly, it alsoaffects monuments, water bodies, marine life and even groundwater. Longterm and short term exposures are required to be monitored and theirimpacts need to be assessed. Also, these should be brought to the notice of communities so that mitigative actions may be sought.

Do you think that the air monitoring units are adequate in New Delhi. What about other cities of India – is there an adequate system in place there?

The number of air quality monitoring units installed at Delhi is notadequate. We need to have many more. In fact, every municipal wardshould have one. Municipal councilors should keep an eye on data and advise the community in their respective wards about safeguardsto be adopted. Similar approach needs to be followed in other cities.Due to the high cost of real time systems, manual stations network may beexpanded for next 5-10 years.

As you are an instrument/monitoring facility providing company, doyou think you can take responsibility of air quality monitoring intotality?

Yes, we can take up such responsibility. However, manpower and financeis a serious issue. Government must provide more budget for operationand maintenance of these facilities instead of just restricting itselfto allocating funds for their functioning. Universities and engineeringinstitutes should start yearlong certificate courses. They can take help of organisations like Envirotech, who have a vast field experience in thisfield.

What is real-time data? What are its advantages and is your instrumentation equipped to do so?

Real time data means minute to minute values of pollutants. It can beaveraged to hourly values but not beyond that so that short termexposure is known. All real time analysers are able to provide thisinformation.

Do you believe that the colour coding of air quality data is a good idea? Issafar’s colour coding different from the us or the european one, if so how different?

Any idea that can communicate status of air quality to the community iswelcome. It should be simple and clear in expressing the risk associatedwith it. There is no need to compare with other international agencies.As I stated, we must communicate effectively with the community. Afterall these data are being collected for their safe health.

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