When data lights a path through smog-filled skies: Usiru

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        #News(General) [ via IoTGroup ]

        [Editors Note Blue Sky Analytics has joined  of Usiru Project]

        During a J-PAL project for the ministry of environment, Purwar got first-hand experience of outmoded pollution monitoring practices.
        Purwar went on to Yale for a master’s degree in environmental studies before joining clean energy venture fund GoldenSet Capital Partners, a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.
        “The free market can be a powerful tool for people and their decisions to produce environmentally friendly scenarios,” says Purwar, whose Gurugram-based startup Blue Sky Analytics monitors pollution by analyzing satellite data with AI.
        Diwali firecrackers had worsened the already polluted air of Gurugram.
        The next morning, the pollution level had rocketed from around 100 at 5:30 pm the previous evening to over 700.
        She was seeing the numbers on a Blue Sky app, Breezo, that aims to be “the Bloomberg of environmental data”.
        The app maps the country in squares of 1km to monitor pollution levels.
        Average annual PM 2.5 recorded by air quality monitoring stations around the world showed that Gurugram and Ghaziabad were the world’s two worst polluted cities in 2018, according to a study by Greenpeace and Switzerland’s AirVisual.
        Delhi has 40 air quality monitoring stations, Patna and Varanasi have one each, and some others have none.
        The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) launched by the Modi government aims to cut PM 2.5 levels by 20-30% in five years.
        One of its measures will be to double the number of monitoring stations to guide regulatory interventions like reducing vehicular pollution or cutting industrial emissions.
        These are some of the gaps that Blue Sky aims to fill by analysing terabytes of satellite image data from publicly available sources like NASA and the European Space Agency.
        This will help identify the sources of pollution, whether it’s dust from construction, carbon from burning biomass or inorganic matter from industries, says Dey, who is involved in the MAIA project.

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