The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has identified Mysore as one of the four cities where a high-tech ambient air-monitoring station will be established

Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, suspended particulate matter and respirable suspended particulate matter are the major pollutants that are being currently monitored by the KSPCB in Mysore; with the station in place, they will monitor toxic pollutants as well. A spurt in the number of vehicles here has necessitated such continuous monitoring of ambient air quality.

To enforce stricter norms for pollution control, eight new parameters had been added to the list of ambient air quality monitoring in the revised standards brought out by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Equipment worth crores of rupees is required to monitor toxic pollutants, and KSPCB has promised to bear 60 per cent of the station’s cost, while the Central Pollution Control Board will fund the rest, sources in the KSPCB said here.

According to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the toxic pollutants which are to be monitored are ozone, arsenic, nickel, benzene and benzo(a)pyrene, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead. The revised standards are expected to bring air pollution control measures in India on par with those in many developed countries.

Location

“Experts are finalising the list of procedures and equipment required for hi-tech pollution monitoring and the project may see the light of the day in the coming months,” KSPCB Environmental Officer Niranjan told The Hindu. A location for the station will be finalised later, but the best place would be near the Mysore Palace, or the busy K.R. Circle.

“The facility does not require a large space; we will approach the Mysore City Corporation for the space once the KSPCB gets clearance,” he said. He said the proposed facility would be beneficial for hospitals specialising in respiratory problems.

The board had proposed to build the station on the Town Hall premises four years ago (before the revised norms were introduced) since it is located in the heart of the city and vehicular traffic is highly concentrated in its surroundings.

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