Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pollution Control Board Assam (PCBA). The MoU was signed under the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to tackle air pollution problems in the identified cities of Guwahati, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar and Silchar, where particle levels (PM10) exceed the annual average (60 microgram per cubic meter) ambient air quality standards.
The MoU was signed by Prof. Sharad Gokhale, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Guwahati and Dr. D. N. Das, Member Secretary of PCBA along with other officials from IIT Guwahati and the PCBA. The main aim of the MoU will be to prepare city-specific interventions and action plans, targeting about 20 to 30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations by 2024, to be implemented by PCBA.
IIT Guwahati is the technical partner and will assist PCBA in carrying out air pollution studies like identifying critical sources, building state-of-the-art air quality monitoring networks, and investigating mitigations in the five identified cities and implementing them with the help of PCBA.
Prof. Sharad Gokhale, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Guwahati, said, ‘The current levels of PM10 and PM2.5 in Guwahati and other cities of Assam are alarming and show increasing trends. Asthmatic condition among children is on the rise. IITG is, therefore, committed to extending technical assistance to the PCBA in improving the air quality monitoring network and carrying out technical studies to develop a suitable city-wise air quality management plan, which we will convert into an implementable action plan for the selected cities of Assam.’