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Air Pollution Monitoring System to be set up in Guwahati
International non-governmental organisation (NGO) Clean Air Asia (CAA) has proposed to set up a low-cost system to monitor air pollution in Guwahati and make the data accessible to all, according to officials. This has been done with a view to encourage public engagement with respect to air pollution data. The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has partnered with CAA to tackle the menace of air pollution.
The monitoring system would help the residents to become conscious about the air quality in their city and to be able to take action. During our meeting, GMC officials had also emphasised on the need for sensitising people with regard to the air quality index in the city,” said CAA’s India director, Prarthana Borah. With this monitoring system, city residents would have the information on the quality of air on a day-to-day basis and would know if they should avoid going out on a day with particularly poor air quality index.
A GMC official told G Plus that they have emphasised on involving the public for action on air pollution since the knowledge and awareness among people is still not adequate. Guwahati has been chosen to implement the air action plan initiative under which several measures will be undertaken by the GMC to improve the air quality index. Authorities informed that Guwahati was one of the 30 cities across India where an assessment was done based on the guidelines as prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India with regard to air quality levels. Further, Guwahati was chosen to implement the air action plan since it did not meet all of the CPCB’s guidelines.
For the air action plan initiative, CAA was entrusted with the responsibility to prepare a draft road map with concrete measures to curb air pollution, informed GMC officials. The NGO has now submitted its final proposals and currently discussions are ongoing between GMC and CAA officials regarding the implementation of various measures. Further, an agreement finalising the proposals will soon be signed between the two parties. “If we get some donors to support the project, we can help set up a low cost monitoring network, then assess the data and use it for public engagement. We can help the GMC to use the data in a proactive way,” added Borah. CAA, with its headquarters in Manila, works in the field of bettering air quality in Asian cities and began its operations in India two years ago.