“One of the biggest spinoffs of the 15-day number plate experiment in the capital is that it has made people aware of air pollution.
As the adage goes, ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.’ However, the information has to be standardised and made available in real-time, rather, like temperatures.
…Currently, obtaining information is hamstrung by the fact that there are 450 monitoring stations which collect data manually. In a week, from each station, one can only get three or four readings, not continuous data.
Instead of getting discontinuous information for ten pollutants, it will be more effective to get data on one pollutant like PM2.5, at ten locations.
For 30 continuous monitoring stations in 50 cities for ten operating years, it would cost Rs 7,500 crores, less than 1 per cent of the smart cities budget. Air pollution doesn’t even get a mention in this initiative.
There isn’t any time to lose in getting such data. In Delhi, it is estimated that 55 per cent of the population is exposed to daytime outdoor pollution.
There are a number of low-cost alternatives for individuals to get information, for example hand-held monitors like Dust-Traks for PM. With smartphones, it is now possible to monitor what are pollution levels in real time.” Darryl D’Monte. The Quint. Read it on delhiair.org.