Hyderabad: To intensify its watch on rising pollution levels, Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) is planning to increase the network of Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) in the city.
A total of seven new monitoring stations will be set up at different different strategic locations in the city. The plan comes in the wake of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) issuing guidelines to the State-run pollution control boards to set up more CAAQMS in the cities exceeding a population of over 50 lakh.
According to TSPCB, a proposal regarding installation of seven new CAAQMS was sent to the CPCB as the city was expanding in tune with the population. Each new station will be set up at a cost of Rs 1 crore and the process of identifying key locations will be taken up, officials have said.
At present there are five CAAQMS in the city located at University of Hyderabad, Nehru Zoological Park, TSPCB office at Sanathnagar, Pashamailram and Bolarum and with the addition of seven more, the city will get an enhanced pollution monitoring with 12 stations.
The PCB is planning to install the new monitoring stations in such a way that of the total 12 CAAQMS, four will be in residential areas, three in traffic dominant areas, two in commercial places, two in industrial areas and one acting as background station, officials said.
“Once additional air quality monitoring stations are in place, we can expect more reliable data and also keep a watch on pollutants in new areas. The installation of background station submitted in the proposal will check from which side clean/bad air is entering the city,” a senior official said.
At present, the city has 23 air quality monitoring stations including 18 manual stations and five CAAQMS. Among these stations, National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) was set up with 50:50 cost sharing between Centre and the State.
Installed at industrial and commercial areas at Balanagar, Uppal, Paradise, Charminar and Jubilee Hills, the NAMP takes up 102 readings a year i.e., monitoring of pollutants is carried for 24 hours (4 hourly sampling for gaseous pollutants and 8 hourly sampling for particulate matter) with a frequency of twice a week.
Four air pollutants — Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM/PM10) and Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) have been identified for regular monitoring at all the locations. The CAAQMS are in operation to monitor the ambient air continuously for eight parameters such as PM10, PM2.5, SO2, NOx, NH3, CO, O3 and Benzene while State Ambient Air Quality Monitoring keeps a tab on peak concentration levels of critical pollutants present in the city’s air.