Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Earth Science
22-September-2010 19:24 IST
Air Quality Forecasting System (SAFAR) andd Weather Services Dedicated to Nation Today for CWGs New Delhi 2010
An innovative project “System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)” has been inaugurated at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here today on the occasion of CWG New Delhi 2010. Addressing a press conference later, Shri Shailesh Nayak, Secretary,Ministry of earth Sciences said the most innovative thing is that the air quality standard information will be given stadium wise. He said, “This event we are using to showcase our capabilities as well as forecasts. This system has been developed indigenously. This is being done in addition to weather services. The prior knowledge of these parameters will help the organizers, managers and athletes prepare and plan efficiently. One of the major objectives of this project is to increase the awareness among general public regarding the air quality of Delhi. The system will continue for six months and will be replicated in other metro cities there after.”

To realize commitment of hosting the sustainable CWG of organizing committee, the Ministry of Earth Sciences has made elaborate arrangements to monitor, forecast and showcase the air quality and weather information on several locations in Delhi covering most of the competition venues prior and during the games.

11 Air Quality Monitoring Stations, 34 Automatic weather stations in NCR along with GPS sonde observations and Doppler Weather radar have ben installed. This is for the first time that India will have a system for air quality forecasting and New Delhi will be the first city in the country to be able to provide, 24 hour advance forecast for criteria pollutants namely Ozone, Oxides of Nitrogen, Carbon Monoxide, Particulate Matters <2.5µm (PM2.5), Particulate Matters < 10µm (PM10), Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, and Black carbon. Now India will be among a few developing nations to take a big leap in this area of environmental research.

This SAFAR project involves 4 components to facilitate the current and 24 advance forecasting, namely, the development of emission inventory of air pollutants for NCR and defining air quality index for India, network of eleven Air Quality Monitoring Stations (AQMS) equipped with 11 automatic weather stations to provide near real time air quality information , 3-D atmospheric chemistry transport forecasting modeling coupled with weather forecasting model to provide 24 hour advance forecast of air pollutant levels and Display on LED and LCD screens located at 20 different locations in Delhi in a public friendly format and displaying the online detailed information through the Web portal developed for CWG as:

The weather information on temperature, humidity, wind speed and wind direction is being provided for 3 products namely Weather-Now for near real time weather information, Weather Now-casting: To provide 3 hours advance forecast using Lidar, satellite, etc. and numerical weather forecast model to provide 24 advance forecast.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a new public information tool that helps protect public health on a daily basis from the negative effects of air pollution. The Air Quality Index is a scale designed to help public understand what the air quality around them means to their health. In addition, Emission inventory or criteria pollutants are an important component of the forecasting model. A team of scientists from the Ministry have evaluated existing air quality standards to define the AQI for India and prepared the emission inventory for criteria pollutant for NCR region.

Air pollution is being monitored across 11 major CWG venues in Delhi over the past three weeks which show the air quality index (AQI) measurement of air quality on a scale of 0-500 to be reasonably good to moderate range so far.

SAFAR system for the air quality is developed by the Indian institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and weather information and forecasting is done by India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The detailed guide on AQI (Scientific Evaluation of Air Quality Standards and Defining Air Quality Index for India) and Emission Inventory (Development of High resolution emission inventory for Delhi NCR region) was also released on this occasion.

India is hosting the 19th Commonwealth Games, the first ever green CWGs, during 3-14 October, 2010 (CWG2010) in New Delhi.