The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) will soon install three stations to continuously monitor ambient air quality in the city.
“Orders have already been placed for the equipment costing Rs. 6 crore,” said a source in the TNPCB.
The advanced equipment, which will record 12 parameters including Ammonia, Ozone and Toluene, will be installed near the city’s two dumping yards at Kodungaiyur and Perungudi, and Royapuram.
“Since there have been a lot of complaints from the public and environmental activists about burning of garbage at the Chennai Corporation’s garbage dumping yards at Kodungaiyur and Perungudi, those locations were chosen,” the source explained. Royapuram was chosen due to its proximity to Chennai Port.
The equipment has to be imported and will be installed in a few months, the source said, adding that two more stations would be installed at a later date.
Environmental researcher Rajesh Rangarajan said it was a welcome move that the Board was going into continuous monitoring of air quality. “The idea is to understand the sources of pollution and their impact on the population. According to recent studies in Chennai, suspended dust is the most important pollutant that needs to be dealt with. The Board should also actively use this data to create an air quality index for the city,” he said.
The Board currently manually monitors pollution levels at a number of locations including Adyar, T. Nagar, Kilpauk and Anna Nagar.