In the national capital, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has operationalised around 20 new stations.
New Delhi: The 20 new monitoring stations in NCR area, which were supposed to be set up by this time, are behind schedule and will be operational only in January.
The officials said that only when all the monitoring stations are functioning will a comprehensive picture of air pollution in Delhi-NCR be likely available. Experts said that with more data from these stations, the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) common air quality index (AQI) for Delhi-NCR would accurately reflect the extent of pollution in the region.
The process, which was to be winded up before the onset of winter, was delayed as the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) failed to meet the October deadline, first due to the absence of a chairperson and later due to queries raised by a panel scrutinising the technical bids.
The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority had recently directed the HSPCB to expedite the process so that a dense monitoring network comes up by this winter itself, enabling authorities to be better prepared before the onset of winter in 2018. A senior HSPCB official said that three interested parties, which made technical bids for the stations, including one each in Gurgaon and Faridabad, have been given a week’s time to respond to the queries. “If the panel is satisfied with the response, the financial bids will open. Then within 10-15 days, orders will be placed and subsequently it may take around 60 days for the infrastructure to be set up as the equipments will have to be imported. Once it is done, it will not take much time for installation,” the official said.
Currently, pockets of Haryana falling in the NCR has six pollution monitoring stations only, which is an obstacle in developing a more comprehensive picture of air pollution as one highly-polluted spot may not always reflect the situation in other parts of the region. Uttar Pradesh, which is also setting up 14 new stations in its areas falling in the NCR, assured the EPCA that it would ensure they were added to the region-wide monitoring network by December.
In the national capital, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has operationalised around 20 new stations and all of them would be linked with the integrated air quality index mechanism.