Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology here said they have developed an air pollution sensor which they claim costs much less than similar instruments worldwide. The sensor will measure the level of harmful gases, including ozone and nitrogen oxides, said professor S N Tirpathi. The professor said usually a sensor of this calibre costs around Rs 1-2 crore in the international market, but the scientists at IIT-Kanpur have made it in just Rs 50,000.
Testing of the sensor will be done in June and if it passes the test, then the sensors will be installed in 150 cities of the country, he told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday.
The first 25 sensors will be installed at IIT-Kanpur campus, while 15 sensors will be installed at IIT-Bombay, the professor said. After the testing of data, 50-60 sensors will be installed in Varanasi, Tripathi said.
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He said the success was gained in developing a reliable and cheaper monitoring sensor under a India-US project. The Union government’s Department of Science and Technology has contributed Rs 6 crore for the project, Tripathi said.
During a press conference, the institute’s dean research and alumni professor, B V Fadi, said the continuous increase in the level of pollution in the country is a cause for concern.
“So everyone has decided that they will work together to decrease pollution,” he added. Quoting a report of the WHO, he said 1.60 lakh people died worldwide last year due to pollution and the death rate is increasing.
IIT-K alumni association president Pradeep Bhargava claimed that in the next phase of the project, countries like Singapore, Japan, China and the UAE will also be included. He said former students of the institute living in these countries will work on the project.