Dr. Sanjeev Goyal, Head and Chief Scientist at the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) presented a promising new methodology to support Indian cities combating air pollution through ward-level action at the prestigious 2023 India Clean Air Summit (ICAS) in Bengaluru.  ICAS is the preeminent annual air quality event in India. It brings together governments, scientists, policy makers, NGOs, academia and students working on clean air in India and is hosted by the Centre for Study of Science Technology and Policy (CSTEP).

Dr. Sanjay Goyal presents at the India Clean Air Summit
Dr. Sanjay Goyal presents at the India Clean Air Summit

Dr. Goyal presented key results on the pilot study conducted by NEERI around Sirifort Auditorium in New Delhi in winter of 2023 during the session “Technology for Change”. Using a combination of stationary and mobile air quality sensors, the study team mapped the hyperlocal variations in the concentration of PM2.5 and NO2 within a small area covering less than 4 square kilometers.

The pilot study underscored the need for a “Local Air Management Plan” (LAMP) for each hotspot within the city using data from regulatory grade monitors, sensors, micro emission inventory and dispersion modelling. It showed how different emission sources like waste burning, domestic activities, roadside eateries and vehicles lead to diurnal variations in pollutant concentrations, which are further altered by weather patterns.

In his talk, Dr. Goyal emphasized the need to support authorities use hyperlocal monitoring to help non-attainment cities prioritize actions in hotspots support achievement of the targets of India’s National Clean Air Program. The pilot was supported by Environmental Defense Fund, which has pioneered hyperlocal monitoring cities across the world, including London, UK, Houston and Oakland in the US, and Cangzhou, China. EDF’s Air Quality team in India was actively involved in the pilot project, headlined by

ICAS 2023 is centered around the theme of “Mission LiFE” – India’s most ambitious policy yet to address climate change and the need to prioritise clean air for sustainable development. Hosted in collaboration with Indian Aerosol Science and Technology Association (IASTA)— the foremost institution in aerosol research in India, ICAS 2023’s focus is to understand how both national and global policies related to sustainable development and net zero can reflect on and address air pollution.