‘Air Quality Data’ for Jammu not updated on SPCB website since October 30

JAMMU: State Pollution Control Board, Jammu, has failed to update on its website the ‘Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Data' since 30th October 2018.

As per a recent Jammu Links News report titled, Jammu's air quality is not as good as you think, it was brought to the public attention that some deadly pollutants in Jammu's air are higher than permissible limits, and that the day is not far when Jammu will have ‘severely polluted air'.

Under the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), J&K did not meet the air quality standards, and as such, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in October 2018 had asked State Government to prepare an action plan within two months to bring air quality indices within prescribed limits. On 3rd January, 2019, State Administration ordered the constitution of the first-ever Air Quality Monitoring Committee (AQMC).

The website of the State Pollution Control Board can be accessed at http://jkspcb.nic.in/

To check Air Quality Data, click on Environmental Data -> Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Data (http://jkspcb.nic.in/Content/Amibient.aspx?id=223)

 

  • After the ‘National Ambient Air Quality Standards' were notified on 18th November, 2009, by the Central Pollution Control Board, SPCB Jammu began uploading the ‘Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Status' of Jammu City, on its website, in June 2017. 
  • The National Ambient Air Quality Standards are specified for around 12 pollutants, namely - Sulphur Dioxide µg/m3 (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide µg/m3 (NO2), PM10 µg/m3, PM2.5 µg/m3, Ozone µg/m3 (O3), Lead µg/m3 (Pb), Carbon Monoxide mg/m3 (CO), Ammonia µg/m3 (NH3), Benzene (C6H6), Benzo(a)Pyrene (BaP) - particulate phase only ng/m3, Arsenic ng/m3 (As), Nickel ng/m3 (Ni). 
  • SPCB Jammu website shows data for 5 pollutants, namely - Sulphur Dioxide µg/m3 (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide µg/m3 (NO2), PM2.5 µg/m3, Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM).
  • The country has progressed to ‘National Air Quality Index', launched on 17th October 2014, to disseminate information in an easily understandable form for the general public. Jammu is yet to reach there.
  • While Delhi-NCR air quality update is an everyday thing, accessible to all and much talked about, most of the people in Jammu don't know about any such data, which is available on the website of SPCB Jammu.
  • Notably, SPCB Jammu collects data from only 3 sites of Jammu - MAM Stadium (Residential), Narwal (Residential), and Bari Brahmana (Industrial), on alternate weekdays. For instance, Narwal data on 3-4 October, 2018, MAM Stadium data on 5-6 October, 2018, No data for 7th October 2018 (Sunday), Bari Brahmana data on 8-9 October, 2018, and so on.
  • Moreover, the device used for monitoring the air quality, is susceptible to weather conditions, for instance, on 6th and 7th August, 2018, no data could be gathered because of rains.

 

With Air Quality Monitoring Committee (AQMC) in place, the state has taken a step forward in following the directions of NGT, and towards improving air quality standards. However, it is yet to be seen how and when the air monitoring data on the website is updated.

It is hoped that authorities will make good use of technologies like mobile apps, websites, LED displays for 24*7 real-time Air Quality Index, and several other interactive means, for widespread awareness and sensitization regarding air quality levels along with the ways for improving it.

 

 

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Author

Harry Walia