Thursday, September 23, 2010

CO in Delhi air prime concern

The biggest worry for Delhi as far as air pollution goes seems to be carbon monoxide, followed closely by particulate matter.

The first day of the air pollution monitoring and forecasting system, which has been set up specially for the Commonwealth Games, threw up these results on Thursday. Six venues, including Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Indira Gandhi Stadium and the Commonwealth Games Village had moderately high levels of CO while the IGI Airport showed worryingly high levels of PM 2.5, scoring 300 on the air quality index of 1-500.

The Thyagaraj Stadium, that till 6.30pm was showing a moderately high level of PM 2.5, also indicated a moderately high level of ozone by 9.30pm. The project, set up by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, was inaugurated on Wednesday. Officials said the rainfall in Delhi had so far been taking care of its pollution level but the actual picture would only become clear once the rain stopped.

"It is not surprising that Delhi is facing a problem with CO since it is one of the major emissions from motor vehicles and Delhi has just too many of them. Particulate matter is also result of high number of vehicles. Levels of most pollutants could also have been high on Thursday since it did not rain and the sun was out for a short while in the day. The airport is showing high level of pollution due to large number of aircraft,'' said an official.

IITM has set up 11 monitoring stations across the city. The Indian Meteorological Department's website on weather forecasting and nowcasting was also functional except that it was showing technical data which, officials said, would be used by concerned Games departments.

"The basic weather model data has been made available on the website, including information for each venue. However, it would need to be interpreted in layman's language and added to the website for common use. This would happen either by Friday or next week,'' said S C Bhan, director, IMD.

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