The deteriorating quality of air in the National Capital Region has set the alarm bells ringing, and the Centre is now attempting to take quick preventive measures to curb the rising levels of pollution.
As reported in several publications, earlier this week, the Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 393 in the national capital, which falls in the “very poor” category, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). Prolonged exposure to this polluted air can cause respiratory illness, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) air quality bulletin.
Even as Delhi heads for a ‘deadly cocktail’ of pollution in the coming weeks, on Thursday, Union Environment Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, flagged off five buses fitted with air-filters, which trap the pollutants in the air, as a pilot project as a part of an aggressive ten-day aggressive ‘Clean Air’ Campaign to combat the city’s ever-increasing air pollution levels.
As reported in NDTV, the buses clean atmospheric air through filters—Pariyayantras—fitted on their roof. The Priyayantra Air filtration system is a revolutionary innovation to fight air pollution, designed by Faridabad-based Manav Rachna Innovation and Incubation Centre (MRIIC). As the vehicle moves, air passes through the holes in front of the device. It has been found that the filters can trap up to 98% of the particulate matter thus keeping the air, pollutant free.
The project proposes to ply 30 more such buses in Delhi. Additionally, these filters don’t require any power to operate and are equivalent to the filtration provided by six room air-filters.
These air filter units can be mounted on the roof of any vehicle, including auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers.
The maintenance cost is meagre as the filters don’t have any power source so the body will be installed once and changing of filters will cost INR 4000/- per year. Even the design of the Pariyayantra air filters has been made, keeping in mind with aesthetics in mind to suit conventional vehicle designs.
The minister also flagged off 52 teams comprising over 250 officials from the Ministry, Delhi government and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).
Speaking to NDTV, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “Pollution rises around Diwali, and it is important to check it. While many teams of CPCB are already active, 44 additional teams will monitor different regions of Delhi, while 8 teams will be active in NCR cities to keep a check on garbage burning, construction and others.”
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)