Neighbourhood News Desk/Avi Arya: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is planning to expand its existing network of all the air quality monitoring stations in the national capital. Once the plan takes place, the four NCR cities that is Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad will get at least five additional monitoring stations.
But due to 60% of the country’s urban area as well as the entire rural belt still off the radar when it comes to the pollution monitoring network experts say that only real-time low-cost sensors are considered the key for air pollution monitoring in the future.
Arun Kumar Mehta, additional secretary of the Union environment and forest ministry said, “We need workable data even if it is not 100% accurate. Low-cost real-time sensors can achieve this. We need to expand our monitoring network to check pollution levels in smaller towns and rural areas. That can’t be done only with sensors that can give accurate data but are very expensive.”
Cost of the conventional monitoring stations can run up to Rs. 5 crore whereas the cost of real-time sensors can be as low as Rs. 5 lakh or even less. The availability of funds is considered one of the main challenges when it comes to setting up conventional high-cost monitors across the country.