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Air quality monitoring station commissioned

Facility envisages tracking all parameters of various places
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday commissioned Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’s Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS) at Bharathidasan University and St. Joseph’s College.

The facility, each costing ₹2 crore, was started at 25 locations across the State. The data from the stations would enable government agencies to keep the general public informed about the current level of air pollution, and formulate strategies, policies and decisions, besides generating knowledge on the long-term and short-term implications on public health.

The establishment of ambient air quality station provided direction for management of air quality, maintenance of ecological safety and conservation, and creation of sustainable environment for human society and nature, officials said.

The station was inaugurated at Bharathidasan University in the presence of Vice-Chancellor P. Manisankar, Registrar G. Gopinath, Joint Chief Environmental Engineer K. Elankumaran, District Environmental Engineer R. Lakshmi and other senior officials.

The establishment of CAAQMS was a sequel to the memorandum of understanding signed by the university’s Department of Environmental Biotechnology with TNPCB.

According to officials, all parameters of air quality such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone molecule, gaseous ammonia, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, BTX – Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, and meteorological parameters — rainfall, solar radiation, wind direction, wind speed, temperature and humidity — would be monitored continuously by TNPCB and IIT-Madras.

The data from the station could be used by scientists, academicians and students for teaching and research purpose, the Vice-Chancellor said.

Featuring measuring instruments and display units, the CAAQMS facility at St. Joseph’s College had been made useful to the public through installation of LCD board for projection of real-time data.

The facility envisaged tracking air quality in various places, including residential localities, industrial sites, commercial locations and roadside areas to a five-km distance in the surroundings, College Principal Rev. Fr. M. Arockiasamy Xavier said.

Monitoring helped in assessing the level of pollution in relation to the ambient air quality standards, and set the target for pollution reduction. The college would conduct awareness programmes at the local level for students and the general public of the importance of environment and health and secure projects from national agencies for broad-basing efforts for pollution control, he said.