Soon, real-time pollution warnings for Delhiites

LED displays to be installed, website getting facelift

The Delhi government’s pollution control website will see a makeover by the end of this month. The changes will highlight the rise in pollution level in Delhi and the urgent need to control it.

The Environment department will also put up LED boards across the city, like the one at ITO currently, which will display real-time pollution status.

“There is no shying away that Delhi is the most polluted city. We want more and more people to understand the problem and contribute at an individual level like reduce dependence on private vehicles and stop garbage burning,” said Environment secretary Ashwani Kumar.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has been working on a dashboard on its website which will have daily warnings on the pollution hotspots of the city and will have information in a visual format like graphs rather than just numbers. It will have messages in a scrolling format and harmful effects of pollution through pictures like those in metros.

The new website will show comparisons of the present pollution levels with those in previous years and the impact of various measures taken by the government to curb pollution, he said.

The research fellows of Harvard Kennedy School, who have been tasked with making changes in the website, are currently working on creating a design which will make such comparisons possible and a presentation in this connection was held last week.
On days when pollution level will be very high, the government will issue area wise warnings and measures people of that particular area can take, like, “don't use your vehicle today, car pool,” etc.

The decision was taken after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had recently directed the Delhi government to identify “critically polluted areas” so that “immediate advisories” can be issued to the public.

The bench has asked the government to prepare a compliance report on the same in the next date of hearing on December 11.

“The move will help us strengthening public awareness. Some people may not able to appreciate just numbers, so through the new system the public will have an informed view of the situation and also the kind of measures they can take and avoiding activities which can contribute to Delhi’s toxic air,” Kumar said.

Details on app too
Along with the website, the government will also bring out an app for smartphones which will have similar details.

However, no health advisories will be given on the website.

“Health advisories are meaningful when there is a healthy situation always and few days pollution level is high, which is not the case with Delhi. If we are successful in curbing pollution, then we will think about issuing advisories,” Kumar said.

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