IIT-Madras to Install Air Quality Monitor in Rameswaram


Air quality monitor will provide data on humidity levels, temperature, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide levels

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras will install a low-cost air quality monitor at Rameswaram. The equipment will be installed at the Vivekananda Kendra with data being linked to the Air Research Laboratory at IIT-M.

Vasudevan, in charge of the Vivekananda Kendra, told that the device is vital as dust levels on the island are high due to the presence of sand dunes. He also told that the equipment will show PM10 and PM2.5 levels in the atmosphere, besides providing data on humidity levels, temperature and carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide levels.

Air quality monitor produced at IIT will cost Rs 3.32 lakhs

Shiva Nagendra who is an Associate professor of civil engineering at IIT-M talked about the expenditure to set up a conventional air quality monitoring system. He told that it would cost around Rs 1 crore besides a recurring expenditure of Rs 6 lakhs per month for its operation and maintenance. The air quality monitoring system produced at IIT-M costs Rs 3.32 lakhs.

In terms of financial conditions, the Kendra provided Rs 1 lakh while the Rural Technology Action Group which is the IIT-M’s outreach programme has offered Rs 2.32 lakh.
The sensors which take an important component of the equipment are being imported. Moreover, IIT-M is in the process of making them under the Make in India programme.

Once they are ready, they will be tested and calibrated which will further bring the down the cost. In addition to this, Vasudevan talked about the visit of A P J Abdul Kalam to Rameswaram. He told that Kalam wanted to do something for the environment which worked as a trigger. Therefore, they learned that low-cost air quality monitoring equipment was manufactured at IIT-M hence they approached it.