Deepa H Ramakrishnan

CHENNAI: Continuous ambient air quality monitoring systems are to be installed at two locations in the city in the first week of next month.

Officials of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) said the equipment, each costing around Rs.70 lakh, would be installed at IIT-Madras, near the Velachery gate of the campus, and Metropolitan Transport Corporation depot in Alandur. The systems would be installed by the Central Pollution Control Board.

The system would monitor levels of sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, BTX (benzene, toluene and xylene) and suspended particulate matter.

The TNPCB will set up display boards in these locations to show the levels. One such system is to be set up at Ambattur SIDCO estate.

The locations were chosen to be able to monitor the ambient air quality in a lung space (IIT-Madras), an area that is close to the airport and a highway (Alandur) and an industrial estate (SIDCO), the official added. In the next few months, a continuous pollution monitoring device is to be set up at Koyambedu, where heavy vehicle population is high because of its proximity to highways, presence of wholesale vegetable and fruit markets and the mofussil bus terminus.

The continuous pollution monitoring device is to be set up at the flower market. The CPCB and TNPCB would be installing the equipment at an estimated cost of Rs.75 lakh, of which CPCB would provide Rs.40 lakh.

The TNPCB has already purchased two shops in the flower market for this purpose.

At present, it has continuous monitoring devices at three locations - Manali, Kathivakkam and Royapuram. It plans to install carbon monoxide analysers at five manual ambient air quality monitoring stations at Anna Nagar, Kilpauk, Vallalar Nagar, T.Nagar and Adyar. This would help monitor vehicular emissions.

These instruments record levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides, respirable dust particles and suspended particulate matter, officials said.