HYDERABAD: Insights gained on all facets of air pollution can help in empowering citizens to make informed choices on where to reside and also in assisting the government in mitigating health risks to the people. A multi-disciplinary project on ‘IoT enabled Smart Cities: Pollution, Health and Governance’, funded by the National Geospatial Programme (NGP), DST, India and the PRIF Social Incubator Program (2019), is working in this direction.
It is a collaborative effort with the Smart City Living Lab at IIIT-H, the Society for Cyberabad Security Council (SCSC), and the Telangana government. “We’re trying to monitor the levels of air pollution in the city of Hyderabad to study its effects on health and then we will present our findings to the government to take the necessary steps to deal with it,” said Prof Sachin Chaudhari, who is leading the IoT-based air pollution-monitoring efforts.
A research team with students from both the Computer Science and the Electronics and Communication streams initially began the IoT project by monitoring PM2.5 and PM10 (particulate matter of 2.5 and 10 micrometres in diameter respectively) in the IIIT-H campus. In 2020 and 2021, they ventured outside the campus and deployed around 40 devices at traffic signals, in public gardens and even in some residential gated communities in Gachibowli. In addition to research students, Vivek Gupta from the Electronics lab also actively participated in this activity.
Realising that in order to cover the entire city, a mobile solution would be more appropriate, the team has now collaborated with a local college. With its buses crisscrossing the entire length and breadth of the city, a few sensor nodes have been deployed atop them. What makes the air pollution monitoring project even more unique is that the sensor devices have been designed in-house by the IIIT-H team.