The Union Environment Minister Harshvardhan on October 15, 2018, unveiled an air quality early warning system for the Delhi region. The system has been designed with the help of American and Finnish models to predict extreme air pollution levels.
Speaking on the occasion, the Environment Minister said that with the early information on bad air quality, people can be educated to get well prepared in advance. Talking about stubble burning, the Minister said that there has been a decrease in the detection of fire incidents as per satellite mapping in Haryana and Punjab. He said that instructions have been issued to monitor stubble burning in these areas on priority.
The system has been jointly developed by the scientists of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) Pune, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Noida and India Meteorological Department (IMD). The system will also make it easier for government’s pollution watchdogs to alert stakeholders and the general public about air quality 48 hours in advance. The move will give them adequate time to take precautionary measures.
The system called – Air Quality Early Warning System – will have an in-built web-based dissemination tool to inform public and enforcement agencies about episodic high pollution events in advance. Such information may be helpful for the general public in planning their outdoor activities. Besides this, the Central Pollution Control Board has constituted a 41 member-team, which will continuously monitor the air pollution levels and report to the board.