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CPCB may consider using LiDAR devices to monitor air pollution

NEW DELHI: The Central Pollution Control Board may consider using advanced LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) devices to vertically monitor the air quality of Delhi-NCR, asserted officials.
CPCB's air lab chief Dipankar Saha said the agency is currently focusing on strengthening its surface-level monitoring network, however, in 'later stages', vertical monitoring will also be taken up.
"The CPCB has taken up the responsibility to strengthen the ground-level monitoring first on a priority basis. It may consider the application of the LiDAR-like monitoring in later stages to have better strategic planning in air pollution control in Delhi-NCR for which fund would never be a constraint," Saha said.
LiDAR is a monitoring system for mapping and modelling in micro-topography, forestry, agriculture, meteorology and environmental pollution. Elastic Backscatter LiDAR and Raman LiDAR are used in monitoring air pollutants vertically.
"The CPCB and IMD had used the Elastic Backscatter LiDAR in Delhi during the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the data was utilised in 3D modelling and forecasting during the games," he said. LiDAR projects laser beams towards the sky. Subsequently, the interplay of light with the objects falling on its path through absorption, reflection, scattering help determine the composition of suspended particulates.
Recently, the CPCB officials have found that the Delhi government and its environment department were not doing enough to combat the pollution. They have also seen that proper data of air quality is also not monitored in the Capital properly.
Earlier, the Delhi government's experiment in trying to curb pollution with an anti-smog gun was termed ineffective by CPCB. The machine's utility is limited to a small area and it is primarily a water scrubber suited to bring down industrial dust at construction and mining sites,
the board said.
The machine, CPCB said, has a working area of 30 to 100 metres that works out to be just 0.03sq km compared to Delhi's 1,484sq kilometres. This means the capital would require around 50,000 such installations to make any difference in its air quality.
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