Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan unveiled a state-of-the-art Air Quality and Weather Forecast System– ‘SAFAR’ (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting) at Chandni Chowk in New Delhi on July 21, 2018.
First of its kind in the country, the system was developed indigenously in record time by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune and operationalised by India Meteorological Department (IMD).
•The giant true colour LED display will give out real-time air quality index on 24x7 basis with colour coding along with 72-hour advance weather forecast.
• Based on the air quality index on a particular day, health advisory and related precaution will be notified to prepare citizens well in advance.
• The new system would also be able to measure sun’s UV-Index and track ultrafine particles such as PM1, mercury and black carbon in real time, which have a direct relevance to human health.
• Based on the UVI, skin advisories will be issued on display.
The Environment Ministry’s mission model project ‘SAFAR’ is being implemented in four cities of India – Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad as an operational service.
The system will be an integral part of India’s first Air Quality Early Warning System operational in Delhi and will strengthen the existing air quality network of SAFAR, Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
• Preliminary economic assessment of the benefits of the system reveal that if 5 per cent of the people suffering from air-pollution related diseases take advantage of the advisories and precautions in Delhi alone, it would result in a saving of nearly Rs 2,500 crores in terms of health-related cost benefit.
• The system will also accelerate public awareness and preparedness of air pollution and weather extremes.
• It will also lead to a better understanding of linkages among emissions, weather, pollution and climate.
• It will also monitor all weather parameters like temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed and wind direction.
• In addition to regular air quality parameters like PM2.5, PM10, Sulfur Dioxide, Ozone, Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, the system will also monitor the existence of Benzene, Toluene and Xylene.
• Besides health, SAFAR system would benefit cost savings to several other sectors such as agriculture, aviation, infrastructure, disaster management skill and tourism, which directly or indirectly get affected by air quality and weather.