Two Government institutions to monitor air pollution in capital and other cities

Published : 12:06 am  January 1, 2019 | No comments so far |  | 

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by Sheain Fernandopulle 

The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) together with the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) has launched a pilot project to monitor air pollution in Colombo and major cities in Sri Lanka.   
The pilot project, which was launched last year, set up monitoring centres in Battaramulla and Kandy. While the DMT has been responsible for establishing the centres, the CEA has been entrusted with the duty of monitoring the centres and  distributing the relevant data received. 

 
Funded by the Vehicle Emission Trust Fund, the centres will monitor air pollution across the city and determine measures to be taken to counter it.   


“Vehicle emissions make up to 60 percent of the air pollution in the country, with emissions from urban areas making up a bulk of it. Colombo has just one monitoring centre, but we hope to establish another two soon,” CEA Deputy Director General (Air Pollution Unit Control) K. H Muthukudarachchi said.   

 

The pilot project, which was launched last year, set up monitoring centres in Battaramulla and Kandy


The new centres which were to be established at the Colombo University and the Town Hall were proposed to be established with government funds.   


“We have conducted the initial project with funds from the Vehicle Emission Trust Fund. But to move forward, the government needs to bear the financial responsibility for the project,” he said.   

 
Annual averages of ambient Particulate Matter PM10 level in Colombo over the years had remained relatively within the range of 60 to 82 µg/m3 with a slight decreasing trend beginning from 1998 to 2011 and a peak in the trend was recorded in 2001. These readings, however, consistently exceeded the WHO latest guideline value of 50 µg/m3 for PM-10. Thus, the Colombo City had become unhealthy in terms of its particulate pollution. However, there had been a slight decreasing trend of PM-10 from 1998 to 2012.  


Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Ozone and Pm-10 in ambient air were monitored from 1998 to 2008 at the Colombo Fort . However only the parameter PM10 was measured to ascertain the air quality of the Colombo City as other instruments had been out of order to measure other parameters since 2008. 

 

The new centres which were to be established at the Colombo University and the Town Hall were proposed to be established with government funds

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