IIT Bombay Develops Revolutionary Air Pollution Solution with PAVITRA Model – London, Mumbai, Shanghai & Delhi Struggle With Air Pollution

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Christian Haugen (CC BY 2.0)

An innovative solution to aid in the fight against air pollution, dubbed Pavitra, has been created by the IIT, Bombay. Pavitra is a cutting-edge model and a sophisticated as well as efficient tool for managing and addressing air pollution in India. Project Pavitra was developed in collaboration with IIT Bombay, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Washington, and the Centre for the Study of Science, Technology, and Policy (CSTEP).It has been funded generously with a $3 million grant from Open Philanthropy.

Researchers at the IIT Bombay have developed a new tool called Pavitra to help cities combat the problem of air pollution more effectively, as air pollution (AP) has become an increasing concern in India. Pavitra is a high-fidelity and computationally efficient model. This initiative has come at a critical time to aid in the decision-making process to improve air quality (AQ) in India.

A warning has been issued by Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, about the high levels of AP in the city. Londoners have been warned to be aware of the AQ and to take steps to reduce their personal contributions to the problem. London is experiencing moderate AP levels due to cold and foggy weather conditions that are preventing the dispersal of vehicle emissions. So the mayor’s warning has come at the right time. Pollution alerts will be displayed on the Transport for London website, and schools in the city will also be notified so that the public becomes aware of the issue of AQ.

According to Khan, AP is a serious health hazard, and it is important that Londoners take steps to protect themselves from it. He added that the most effective way to combat AP is to reduce the number of cars on the road. That‘s why he urged people to use public transportation, bicycles, or walk whenever possible.
In order to address the problem, the mayor is planning to expand the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which targets the most polluting vehicles with a daily surcharge. Khan also stated that the ULEZ will be extended throughout London later this year in order to reduce AP in the city.

The Pavitra project team at IIT Bombay is working to bring a range of stakeholders together to address the issue of AP in India. The Pavitra, a new, high-fidelity and computationally efficient AP management tool, will be made publicly available to combat the problem. The aim is to build a community of users with varying levels of technical expertise and to create a science-policy ecosystem that can tackle the AP issue on a large scale.

As cities like Mumbai, Shanghai, London, and Delhi grapple with the issue of AP, leaders are taking measures to solve the problem. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, urged citizens to avoid travel due to rising AQI (Air Quality Index) levels, which had reached the “moderate” level of 58. On the other hand, cities like New Delhi have seen much higher AQI levels, with a reading of 400 on a recent Saturday, yet no official advisories were issued. The AQI levels in Delhi were at 318 on the day the advisory was issued in London. Hence, the issue of AP is to be handled on a war footing, and Pavitra can come to the rescue in this mission.

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