Delhi govt to introduce new index to measure pollution level in city

The Delhi government is working on an index of its own to monitor air quality in the capital.

An index enables a common man to judge the quality of air and gives information on concentration of various pollutants around his vicinity. It also classifies the air quality into categories like ‘severe’, ‘very poor’ or ‘moderate’.

At present, the national capital has two such indexes – System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) and the National Air Quality Index, run by CPCB.

The Delhi government has six air quality monitoring stations – in RK Puram, Anand Vihar, Mandir Marg, Civil Lines, Punjabi Bagh, and IGI Airport. The data gathered by these is currently sent to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which manages one of the indexes.

The government’s Environment department is working on the new index and once it is completed, a mobile application will also be launched, a senior government official said.

Since the capital already has two such air facilities, the government is planning to monitor pollutants which are not already monitored by any of the agencies. 

The current focus being PM2.5 and PM10 levels, the department is planning to monitor PM1 levels as well. The government is currently recording the PM1 levels to assess the impact of its odd-even scheme.  


“We are planning to monitor PM1 levels even after January 15, when the odd-even scheme will end,” the official said.

PM1 pollutant is a fine particle of diameter less than 1 micron and smaller than PM2.5.

The department is also planning to bring more areas under its monitoring for a better idea of the average air quality and the recorded value of a particular pollutant will be displayed as the rolling average of the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s website is also set to get a makeover and the scientists are working on a dashboard which will have daily warnings on the pollution hotspots of the city.

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