Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Green Commonwealth games 2010

t’s a race against time and pollution. In an effort to ensure that this year’s Commonwealth Games are green and pollution-free, Pune’s scientists and environmentalists are making frequent trips to the capital, training students and volunteers to collect data for an ‘emission inventory’.

Dr Gufran Beig, a scientist at Pune’s Indian Institute of Tropical Meterology, Dr Ajay Ojha, former chief of the Pune Municipal Corporation’s air quality management cell and experts from the city’s Chest Research Foundation have embarked upon the voluminous task of preparing an emission inventory for the National Capital Region (NCR).

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) has developed the technology being used to carry out the research.

Beig, a scientist with IITM's System of Air Pollution Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) explained how the involvement of over 100 students from colleges and universities in Delhi would help in the effort.

“We are in the process of preparing an emission inventory that will account for the amount of pollutants discharged into the atmosphere,’’Beig told Newsline. This includes a detailed survey of ‘sources’ and examining what quantities of air pollutants are emitted and their origin.

Beig who conducted a brainstorming workshop in New Delhi to encourage and motivate students on how to collect data to form an ‘emission inventory’ said that the process was extremely tedious. “The month-long programme that started on March 11 included 100 students who were stationed at 40 major junctions in the National Capital Region (NCR) region,” said Ojha, who is presently the coordinator with the project.

With the aim of predicting the air quality 24 hours in advance, students divided into groups have identified 21 major sources of pollution. Students who have been allocated their groups at five cities-Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Delhi and Gaziabad begin their day by collecting data on the number of vehicles that pass by at a major junction.

“While one group ask motorists details about the fuel he/she uses, another group lists details from hotels about the LPG consumption. One group of students has been given the task of collecting data on kerosene and coals being used by slum dwellers at a certain area. One group even has the task of using a vaccum cleaner and collecting the dust on the road in one sq mt area. This kind of sample survey is underway presently and 80 per cent of the work has been completed,” said Ojha.

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