About 150 sensor-based air quality monitoring stations to come up across Bengal

Kolkata: In its constant efforts towards boosting its infrastructure in air quality index (AQI) monitoring, the West Bengal Pollution Control Board(WBPCB) is setting up sensor-based monitoring stations across the state.

At the same time, with trans-boundary pollution emerging as a major contributor in fouling the air quality in Bengal, the WBPCB has asked IIT Kharagpur to conduct a study to assess the percentage of pollution caused by this polluted air that enters Bengal through the bordering areas.

The preliminary study by experts have found out that at least 50 per cent of air pollution in Bengal is caused by trans-boundary pollution. The IIT study will assess the inland pollution level as well as that of trans-boundary. According to WBPCB, it has been found that the foul air from the Indo Gangetic plain is descending downwards particularly in the winter months and further deteriorating the air quality .

"We have started installing sensor-based monitoring stations at strategic locations right from Darjeeling to Sunderbans. We will set up 150 sensor-based stations for boosting our infrastructure in air quality monitoring," a senior official of WBPCB said. The WBPCB has already set up 62 such sensor-based stations mainly inside the campus of school, colleges and universities.

The PCB has also laid special emphasis on awareness regarding pollution and has been undertaking a number of programmes in this connection. There are 79 manual and 14 automatic air quality monitoring stations in the city and parts of the state that has already been installed by the WBPCB. The pollution panel will soon come up with a command centre in its main office at Paribesh Bhavan in Salt Lake where a dedicated team will be monitoring the air quality index .

The WBPCB has already started using water sprinklers to stop dust re-suspension to keep AQI in check. Water is being sprayed along roads to coalesce finer particles into bigger ones to keep them grounded. WBPCB's initial findings in a latest study has found out that road dust is responsible for about two third of the PM 10 pollution, the toxic pollutant that can penetrate the lungs.

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