Whitefield residents take stand to curb air pollution

The residents of Whitefield are able to track on a daily basis, hourly and minute basis about how bad the air they are breathing is? Thanks to the community solution developed locally and deployed over the last few months.

The residents of Whitefield are able to track daily — in fact on hourly and minute basis — how bad the air they breathe is, thanks to a community solution developed locally and deployed over the last few months.

AirCare, a high-density particulate matter (PM2.5) monitoring network developed by Shiv Shankar, founder of Mapshalli, a non-profit organisation, and Varun Ramakrishnan, a class 12 student from The International School Bangalore, in collaboration with the Whitefield Rising Group, monitors PM2.5 levels 24/7 and hosts the data online for real-time tracking. 

The quantity of PM2.5 in air is captured every five minutes so as to allow for constant monitoring, and the data will be available on AirCare-Mapshalli blog for citizens.

“PM2.5 refers to fine particles with a size of 2.5 microns and less measured in micrograms in a cubic metre. PM2.5 is so tiny that it can reach the bloodstream through lungs and cause chronic diseases. They are produced from all types of combustion, agricultural burning and industrial processes,” said Shiv Shankar.

The AirCare network has seven sensors currently in Whitefield main road, Thubarahalli, Siddapura, Ramagondanahalli, Hope Farm Junction, Doddanekundi and Graphite India Junction. Less than 12 micrograms in a cubic metre means the air is of good quality. But it is 12, 14 and 42 in Whitefield residential area, high road traffic location and Graphite India junction.

“The RxDx hospital is located at the Graphite India Junction (GIJ). The graphite pollution at the junction is too high that the hospital floors, walls and even white clothes turn black,” said a doctor there.

Whitefield residents said the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board should place a monitoring system at GIJ and make the data publicly available.

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Whitefield residents take stand to curb air pollution

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