CSIR to certify air quality monitoring sensors

  1. The Environment Ministry has designated Council of Scientific and Industrial Research—National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) as the national verification agency for certifying air quality monitoring instruments.
  2. CSR NPL will develop necessary infrastructure, testing and certification facilities conforming to ISO standards for both automatic and manual samplers.
  3. Currently, the air quality monitoring instruments employed by State and Central Pollution Control Boards (SPCB and CPCB) are imported.
  4. The decision to certify the instruments has come in the backdrop of anticipation of rising demand of air quality monitoring instruments by states against the backdrop of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
  5. In 2019, National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) has been launched for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in India. It is a five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
  6. It aims at 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5and PM10 concentration by 2024, taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
  7. The programme targets 102 non-attainment cities which were identified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the basis of their ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.Non-attainment cities are those which have been consistently showing poorer air quality than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
  8. The NCAP requires cities to come up with city-specific plans that include increasing the number of monitoring stations, providing technology support, conducting source apportionment studies, and strengthening enforcement.
  9. The cities are required to implement specific measures in a time-bound manner. Example: ensuring roads are pothole-free to improve traffic flow and thereby reduce dust (within 60 days).