Tuesday, March 10, 2015

No More Real-time Air Quality Data from DPCC Stations in Delhi

Under watch across the world over the alarming quality of air in its national capital, are Indian authorities trying to shoot the messenger? The Delhi Pollution Control Committee, which runs a real-time air pollution monitoring system, has been rapped for releasing "raw" or "unedited" air quality data on its website. In a meeting last week, the Union environment ministry has decided that DPCC's data will be "validated" by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and "quality control" mechanisms put in place before it is released online.

The decision appears strange because automatic air quality monitoring usually doesn't require any editing. While it defeats the purpose of having a real-time monitoring system because any vetting would delay the process, experts also fear that the edited data may be "dressed up" and not give the true picture. Another official from CPCB confirmed that a meeting was held on March 4, in which the environment ministry decided that a protocol will be put in to place for releasing the data. "Unedited data will not be released. The figures will be validated either by us or a team of scientists. There will be quality control. We have to work out a new system by March 20," the official said.

More @ Times of India

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