Bengal Takes the Lead in Combating Air Pollution with 262 Air Quality Monitoring Stations
Bengal is at the forefront of the battle against air pollution, with the state implementing an extensive network of 262 air quality monitoring stations. This makes Bengal the state with the highest number of such stations in the country. The network includes manual stations, continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS), and sensor-based stations. By December, an additional 193 stations will be added, bringing the total number to an impressive 445.
The inclusion of low-cost sensor-based (LCS) real-time air quality monitoring stations has significantly intensified the monitoring network in Bengal. These sensors offer a more widespread and affordable solution for pollutant monitoring. The chairman of the Bengal Pollution Control Board, Kalyan Rudra, stated that the aim is to expand the network to cover all 341 blocks of the state. By the end of the year, the goal is to reach 250 stations. This robust monitoring system will enable the implementation of targeted and hyper-local solutions to address air pollution issues.
Apart from the sensor-based stations, Bengal also has 83 manual air quality monitoring systems (AAQMS) with plans to set up an additional 90 systems by December. These systems collect ambient air samples, which are then manually transferred to centers for analysis. Furthermore, the state boasts 14 Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS). These high-tech stations utilize automated data collection and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) for real-time analysis.
Currently, seven CAAQMS are located in Kolkata, three in Howrah, and one each in Asansol, Durgapur, Haldia, and Siliguri, providing valuable data on air quality. To further enhance the monitoring system, Bengal is in the process of acquiring eight more CAAQMS. One of these stations, located in Barrackpore, will be inaugurated this week, while Howrah, Asansol, and Durgapur will also see additional CAAQMS in the near future.
Despite not being officially accepted as valid data, readings from LCS-based monitoring stations have yielded effective results and played a vital role in adopting mitigation measures. Each LCS-based monitoring station includes a noise monitoring component, making Bengal’s noise-monitoring network the widest in the state. Temperature and humidity data are also recorded, providing insights into micro-climatic zones across Bengal.
The initiative taken by Bengal to establish a vast network of air quality monitoring stations is commendable. It demonstrates the state’s dedication to addressing air pollution and finding innovative solutions to improve the environment. With the addition of more monitoring stations, Bengal will undoubtedly gain valuable insights and data to develop effective mitigation strategies. By implementing hyper-local solutions and leveraging advanced technologies, Bengal is leading the way in the fight against air pollution.