Panaji: The Goa State Pollution Control Board is in the process of establishing a continuous ambient air quality monitoring station (CAAQMS) in Vasco. For the first time, an Air Quality Index will be generated and data will be in the public domain.
An instrument costing Rs 1.10 crore will be purchased with the funds received from the Union ministry of environment for setting up the CAAQMS for monitoring air pollution parametres such as PM10, PM2.5, SO2 & NOx.
The funds have been obtained under a central scheme: the Central Pollution Control Board provides 50 per cent of the financial assistance to procure the monitoring machine.
Board officials told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the existing 18 manual air quality monitoring stations across the state will be gradually converted into continuous monitoring stations in phases, and the data will be linked with central server of the CPCB so as give real-time data to the general public.
Earlier, the GSPCB had decided to install the CAQMS at the KTC bus terminal in Panaji. However, the proposal was rejected, which forced the board to zero in on the Dr Ambedkar Park for setting up the air quality monitoring station.
In fact, the board had even obtained permission from Corporation of the City of Panaji and office of the chief conservator of forest. An amount of Rs 5.81 lakh had been spent for constructing a platform for establishing the CAAQMS. But the station could not be installed due to strong opposition. Consequently, the GSPCB decided to set up the CAAQMS in the state capital under different funding pattern (i.e. 100% assistance) facilitated through the Union environment ministry on data purchase mode for initial seven years.
The station will be handed over to the state pollution control board later in its life.