Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Pakistan will be installing three new air quality monitoring systems in Islamabad to increase the capital’s capacity to accurately measure the air quality.
The three new air quality monitors will be installed in areas with the highest industrial and vehicular emissions. According to reports, the air quality monitors are likely to be installed at Peshawar Mor, Rawat, and Taramri Chowk.
In this regard, EPA has prepared the project concept-I which will be sent to the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) for final approval.
Currently, the federal capital has only two air quality monitors. One of them is stationary while the other is mobile. Both can measure air quality within a 3-Km radius.
The fixed air quality monitor only measures the air quality around the industrial area, Islamabad Expressway, and Kashmir Highway. With the addition of three new air quality monitors, the air quality of the federal capital will be measured at a much larger scale.
The price of one unit of the new air quality monitor is estimated to be $32-35 million.
Deteriorating Air Quality of the Capital
Smog has gripped the entire country in the winter season and Islamabad is no exception.
According to Dr. Imran Khalid, Environmental Scientist at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), the air quality in Islamabad is neither moderate nor healthy in recent days. In fact, unhealthy air quality has been prevailing in the capital for some time now.
Severely high levels of air pollution has resulted in higher respiratory problems.
While addressing a media briefing, Dr. Khalid said:
Air pollution is a silent killer and it creeps into the human body with unimaginable impacts on the respiratory and nervous system. It is a matter of grave concern that the air quality in the federal capital is unhealthy due to decreased temperature and increased density of suspended particles including the particulate matter of 2.5 microns.