Centre to set up a certification authority for calibration of pollution measuring instruments

NEW DELHI: Noting that the absence of standardised pollution-measuring instruments has sometimes led to inaccurate air and water pollution data, the Centre has decided to set up a certification authority for calibration of all such equipments in the country.
At present, different agencies use non-calibrated instruments at different measuring stations and this has led to variation in collected data.
“It will be a central authority comprising scientists from IIT and water experts. Its role would be to certify the standards set by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and its implementation across the country”, said the Union environment secretary C K Mishra.
Emphasising that the authority would be in place within two months, Mishra said the ministry had a number of meetings with scientists from the NPL and IIT Delhi to finalise the details of such a central body to ensure availability of calibrated instruments across the country.
Since there is no standardisation of pollution-measuring instruments in India, there is no calibration of such equipments as per the standard norms considering different functional parameters. As a result, even the national Air Quality Index (AQI) does not give an absolutely correct picture of the level of pollution in different cities.
The NPL of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under science and technology ministry has long demanded calibration of pollution measuring instruments.

“We have the capacity to do that. Our laboratory has already developed and patented particulate matter (PM2.5) sampler and asked the pollution control boards to go for calibration. We have also been working on developing samplers of other pollutants,” said the NPL director Dinesh K Aswal.

He told TOI on Thursday that once all air and water pollution measuring equipments are calibrated, the CPCB would be able to get an accurate data of the level of pollution and it would help in decision making on policy fronts.
“It is very important for the country to have calibrated equipments to deal with the problem of air and water pollution effectively in scientific manner. I am really surprised why we have not yet gone for standardised instruments”, said Aswal.

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