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| Last Updated:08/06/2021

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Move afoot to 'dress up' Delhi's air pollution data?

NEW DELHI: Under watch across the world over the alarming quality of air in its national capital, are Indian authorities trying to shoot the messenger?

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee, which runs a real-time air pollution monitoring system, has been rapped for releasing "raw" or "unedited" air quality data on its website. In a meeting last week, the Union environment ministry has decided that DPCC's data will be "validated" by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and "quality control" mechanisms put in place before it is released online.

The decision appears strange because automatic air quality monitoring usually doesn't require any editing. While it defeats the purpose of having a real-time monitoring system because any vetting would delay the process, experts also fear that the edited data may be "dressed up" and not give the true picture.

DPCC releases real-time data from six stations: RK Puram, Civil Lines, Punjabi Bagh, Mandir Marg, Anand Vihar and IGI. It's the only state agency in India to provide real-time feed from so many station and for a wide range of pollutant such as PM10, PM2.5, SO2, NO2, CO, ozone and benzene.