NEW DELHI: In a first, devotees congregating at the upcoming Kumbh Mela will get real-time updates on pollution levels and weather around Triveni Sangam at Prayagraj.
The area in and around the Kumbh Mela 2019 will have an air quality mobile van and four automatic weather stations, at different locations at the congregation.
The initiative by Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) through its System of Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), along with India Meteorological Department (IMD) is a first of its kind for one of the largest congregations in the country.
“The area doesn’t have any pollution monitoring system as of now. The need was felt as lakhs of devotees congregate here for days. The van will display the Air Quality Index (AQI) and the dominant pollutants. It will collect data from the area and give a forecast for the next three days which will be conveyed to the people,” said Gopal Iyengar, Scientist, MoES.
The Ardh Kumbh Mela is set to begin on January 14 at the Triveni Sangam. It will end on March 30, 2019.
“The live weather stations will display the current weather and measure parameters like temperature, wind speed, moisture, and rainfall,” he said, adding that these, along with the mobile van, will be inaugurated by next week.
Iyengar added that the ministry, along with IMD already has a specialised forecast system in place for major events like ‘Char Dham’ and Amarnath yatras but there was none so far for Kumbh.
“Even the ones in place were weather specific. For the first time we have included monitoring and displaying of pollution levels as well,” he said.
The SAFAR system provides location-specific information on air quality in near real-time and forecasts one to three days in advance, combined with early warning system on weather parameters in a few metropolitan cities of India.
The Uttar Pradesh government has reportedly spent Rs 2,800 crore for Kumbh Mela 2019 and other developmental work related to it so far.