“The quality of air in India is bad and is becoming a serious public health issue with huge repercussions to our quality of life and economy. We know this through anecdotal evidence and through the little data on monitoring that trickles down to the public. This limited information is not enough – to formulate policy, to understand seasonal and diurnal variations, to tease out patterns or to calibrate forecasting models. It is the right of any citizen to have access to information on the quality of air she is breathing – monitoring data that is real-time, reliable and accessible to any citizen.”
Sarath Guttikunda, scientist and director of Urban Emissions India, explains the importance of having real time monitoring information. The current use of modeling comes with uncertainty and is “not a substitute for daily on-ground monitoring. What we need are ground measurements using reference methods approved by the environment ministry. This ensures that the monitoring information is reliable and conforms to the government’s standards,” he argues. The current manually operated stations provide inaccurate data and information. Instead, he says, what’s needed are “continuous air monitoring systems for more reliable, more traceable, more accessible and more transparent information for real-time data analysis.”
Read about Guttikunda’s assessment and calculations on the investment required for operating continuous air monitoring program in major Indian cities and states on Delhiair.org. The Wire. September 15, 2017.