A sophisticated weather forecasting system that will give out real-time air quality index, advance forecasts and health advisories, was unveiled here 21 July 2018 by Earth Sciences and Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan. SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting), the first of its kind in the country, is located at Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi.
The system was developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune in record time and operationalized by the India Meteorological Department. A giant LED display will give out real-time air quality index on a 24×7 basis with color coding along with 72-hour advance forecast.
The Chandni Chowk air quality station will also measure the Sun’s UV-Index and will provide online information about ultrafine particles PM1 and mercury, both of which have direct relevance to human health. The system will measure regular air quality parameters such as PM2.5 and PM10, besides the levels of sulfur dioxide, ozone, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, benzene, toluene, and xylene.
Besides the health aspect, the SAFAR system would benefit cost savings to several other sectors such agriculture, aviation, infrastructure, disaster management skill and tourism, among others, which directly or indirectly get affected by air quality and weather.