Increase coverage of fixed air quality monitors to develop a spatially representative network in Bengaluru
Currently, under the NAMP and Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) programmes, Bengaluru has 23 stations; of these, 13 are manual stations and 10 are continuous stations. The National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) is a national network of ambient air quality monitors run by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and includes monitoring of four pollutants- SO2, NO2, PM10 and PM2.5.
If we consider PM10 and PM2.5 and separately. Bengaluru has 23 stations, Manual + Continuous. So, of these 13 only measure PM10, while the 10 continuous monitors measure both PM10 and PM2.5.
However, the CPCB (2003-04) guidelines for ambient air quality monitoring also recognizes a number of other factors given in the list below:
- Background information collected on sources and emissions
- Variability of pollutant concentration
- Size of the geographic area to be covered
- Health implications on the residents of a city; CPCB(2003-04) also says- ‘For other monitoring objectives, particularly in relation to epidemiological studies, the nos. will have to be increased’.
In addition, there are other considerations that influence increasing the number of monitors. The list of these considerations are the following:
- Higher industrialization
- Heavy fuel usage
- Irregular terrain
- Higher vehicular density
- Higher population density
While from a compliance perspective, the city seems to have enough monitors to satisfy the general criteria stated by the CPCB regarding consideration of population size for PM10, but falls short by 11 for PM2.5. In case of NO2, the requirement of 10 is met, and also in the cases of SO2 and CO.
Another study Air Pollution Knowledge Assessment (APnA) conducted for Bengaluru, states that the city air shed requires at least 41 continuous air monitoring stations (CAMS) to statistically, spatially, and temporally, represent the mix of sources and range of pollution in the city. According to the study, for a city urban airshed spanning 60 km x 60 km with more than 10 million inhabitants – the current monitoring network is not representative sample.
This project will attempt to increase the fixed monitor network to appropriately measure the statistical, spatial, and temporal nature of air pollution in the city, and represent the mix of sources and range of pollution