New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) As the air quality in the national capital started deteriorating, Delhi Environment Minister Kailash Gehlot on Tuesday wrote to Union Minister of Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan requesting for sharing data and technology of the ministry’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) to ascertain the causes of pollution in the city during winter.
In the letter, Gehlot said that the stubble burning in the neighbouring states in November has always contributed significantly to higher PM2.5 levels in Delhi.
He said that SAFAR had stated that farm fires contributed just 2 per cent to Delhi’s overall PM2.5 concentration and it has been indicated that it is likely to increase to 6 per cent by October 15.
“I understand that your ministry is equally concerned with the pollution levels in Delhi and both the governments (Delhi and Centre) can work together to reduce pollution levels in Delhi,” he said.
Saying that the air quality monitoring stations under the Delhi Pollution Control Committee are able to furnish data with regard to PM 2.5 concentration, he added that media reports have claimed that the SAFAR has the technology to indicate contribution in terms of percentage of stubble burning towards PM2.5 levels in Delhi on a particular day.
“This means that SAFAR also has the technology and equipment to do some allocation of pollution on real-time basis,” he said, requesting Vardhan to grant access to data on sources of pollution on each day in the last one week.
He said this will help “us take correct decisions immediately”.
“I would request you to share the technical expertise developed by SAFAR in this regard so that the Delhi government can benefit from the same,” he concluded the letter.
SAFAR envisages a research-based management system where strategies of air pollution mitigation go hand in hand with the nation’s economic development to target a win-win scenario, according to its official website.
Through SAFAR one can know the city’s air quality. It provides overall city pollution and location-specific information on air quality in near real-time and its forecast 1-3 days in advance. It has been combined with the early warning system on weather parameters.