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CSIR-NPL launches India’s First Pristine Air-Quality Monitoring Station at Palampur

25 Mar 2017

In yet another landmark intervention CSIR- National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has bestowed upon the nation, it’s first Pristine air-quality monitoring station at the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT) at Palampur( Himachal Pradesh). A unique, first-of-it’s kind atmospheric monitoring station in the campus of IHBT, has been established by NPL at an altitude of 1391 m for generating the base data for atmospheric trace species and properties to serve as reference for comparison of polluted atmosphere in India. At this station, NPL has installed state-of-the-art air monitoring system, greenhouse gas measurement system and Raman Lidar. A number of parameters like CO, NO, NO2, NH3, SO2, O3, PM, HC & BC besides CO2 & CH4 are being currently monitored at this station which is also equipped with weather station (AWS) for measurement of weather parameters.

The station has been dedicated to the nation by Dr. D.K Aswal, Director, NPL and Dr.Sanjay Kumar, Director, IHBT. Scientists have stressed upon the need to promote quality measurements in atmospheric sciences which would help in developing appropriate policy measures for societal goods. Dr. Aswal stressed the need to develop synergies & interactions between all the agencies undertaking atmospheric monitoring for this purpose. Dr. Sanjay Kumar in his inaugural speech mentioned the need for setting up of such state of art monitoring ecosystem due to climate change & pollution. The collaboration between the CSIR-NPL & CSIR-IHBT was vastly appreciated in setting up this modern monitoring facility which will serve as reference station. NPL provided the perspectives and objectives of the CSIR’s XII Five Year Plan Project AIM _IGPHim under which this facility has been established and thanked the colleagues of NPL & IHBT for their contributions. The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has funded this project under its XII Five year Plan Projects.

In India, air quality parameters are mostly measured in industrial and residential areas, however, data for air quality of pristine atmosphere is not available in India. NPL’s station will contribute to fill this important gap. The NPL’s station will also serve as a base station for inter-comparison of air quality monitoring equipment being used in India to improve quality of monitored data in India. As the issues of atmospheric pollution have assumed a significant proportion of societal concerns, it is a matter of utmost importance to ensure quality of atmospheric monitoring so as to devise appropriate policies for abatement of air pollution based on sound scientific data for their effectiveness.

The data generated by pristine CAAQMS (Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System) station at Palampur will act as background data for the measured pollution at various cities in the country. The generated background data will be shared with different pollution control boards and agencies in the country so that the more precise pollution mapping traceable to standard values can be done, which in turn, would assist policy decisions for the abatement of air pollutants.

{Feature has been uploaded by CSIR (Unit for Science Dissemination), Ministry of Science & Technology, New Delhi}.

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