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PCB sanctions Rs.2 lakhs to repair mobile units

Staff Reporter

Monitoring of air pollution gets a boost


Financial aid for repairing mobile unit for air quality testing PCB sanctions Rs.2 lakhs for the first phase SCMC asked PCB to check air and water pollution in Kochi Officials forced to take down the readings manually

KOCHI: Monitoring of air pollution in Kochi is likely to pick up in the coming days with the State Pollution Control Board (PCB) extending financial aid to repair a mobile unit that has been non-functional for the past several months.

The PCB has sanctioned Rs.2 lakhs for the first phase. A mobile unit for testing water quality has also become defunct. At present, there is no method to analyse pollution levels during an emergency.

The mobile unit for air quality monitoring costs Rs.75 lakhs and the water quality testing unit Rs.35 lakhs.

The decision of the PCB to expedite the repair of the damaged mobile units comes in the wake of a recommendation by the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) on hazardous wastes.

The SCMC had asked the PCB to check air and water pollution in Kochi.

Highly polluted city

The board has also taken note of a Central Pollution Control Board report that Kochi is one among the top 50 highly polluted cities in the country.

Sophisticated equipment

The mobile units for air and water quality testing have digitally controlled testing equipment.

The units are operated under the research and development wing at the regional office of the board.

The computer facility in the mobile unit for air quality monitoring has been defunct for several months now. The unit requires at least six new parts to become operational.

The unit was not used well following a breakdown in the computer facility, which was used for reading air quality in various areas.

The officials, forced to take down the readings manually, found the task difficult.

The unit was last used for finding out the air ambient quality in the Eloor and Edayar industrial region.

For three days, readings were taken from several locations in the area. But the results did not yield any major findings.

Major asset

The mobile unit for air quality monitoring can measure various parameters, including carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, and suspended particulate matter.

All the parameters, except the level of heavy metals, can be tested using the mobile unit for monitoring water.

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