“Engineers can establish these stations, technicians can run it, but you need people who understand atmospheric science, to understand the data,” said Jakhwal. Hence, CPCB regularly absorbs students from various universities training them in their special sets of skills.With two more automatic stations being set up, their biggest asset to maintain air quality, is knowledge, said Jakhwal, which has finally made people take note of the state of affairs.Meanwhile, the honour of ‘severe’ air went to Muzaffarpur, Bihar, on Tuesday.White elephants
Scientist at the Air Laboratory for 29 years, DC Jakhwal, calls these stations the CPCB’s white elephants. Necessary as they are, each costs 1.1 crore to set up, roughly 12 per cent of that to maintain the sensitive equipment annually – eight machines for eight parameters – and depend heavily on connectivity to monitor remote areas. For now, the lab has 39 such stations across India connected to it, with Gaya joining on Tuesday itself.

Aradhna Wal

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