Central Pollution Control Board is executing a nation-wide programme of ambient air quality monitoring known as National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP). The network consists of Six hundred and Eighty Three (683) operating stations covering Three Hundred (300) cities/towns in twenty six (29) states and four (6) Union Territories of the country.
The objectives of the N.A.M.P. are to determine status and trends of ambient air quality; to ascertain whether the prescribed ambient air quality standards are violated; to Identify Non-attainment Cities; to obtain the knowledge and understanding necessary for developing preventive and corrective measures and to understand the natural cleansing process undergoing in the environment through pollution dilution, dispersion, wind based movement, dry deposition, precipitation and chemical transformation of pollutants generated.
Under N.A.M.P., four air pollutants viz ., Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Oxides of Nitrogen as NO2, Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM / PM10) and Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) have been identified for regular monitoring at all the locations. The monitoring of meteorological parameters such as wind speed and wind direction, relative humidity (RH) and temperature were also integrated with the monitoring of air quality.
The monitoring of pollutants is carried out for 24 hours (4-hourly sampling for gaseous pollutants and 8-hourly sampling for particulate matter) with a frequency of twice a week, to have one hundred and four (104) observations in a year. The monitoring is being carried out with the help of Central Pollution Control Board; State Pollution Control Boards; Pollution Control Committees; National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur. CPCB co-ordinates with these agencies to ensure the uniformity, consistency of air quality data and provides technical and financial support to them for operating the monitoring stations. N.A.M.P. is being operated through various monitoring agencies. Large number of personnel and equipments are involved in the sampling, chemical analyses, data reporting etc. It increases the probability of variation and personnel biases reflecting in the data, hence it is pertinent to mention that these data be treated as indicative rather than absolute.