SAFAR Current Affairs

Government to tie up with US and Finland to jointly develop new pollution-forecast system

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is tying up with US and Finland to develop new pollution-forecast system that will help anticipate particulate matter (PM) levels at least two days in advance and at greater resolution. The new system will jointly developed with expertise from Finnish Meteorological Institute and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


Currently, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), run out of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, serves as apex forecaster of pollution trends in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad. It generates likely air quality profile for a day in advance, for these cities. SAFAR monitors pollutants like PM1, PM2.5, PM10, NOx (NO, NO2), CO, Ozone, SO2, BC, Methane (CH4), Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), Benzene, VOC’s, Mercury.

Recently, Union Environment Ministry also had released draft of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) that aims to improve air quality monitoring in India by increasing number of pollution monitoring stations and, incorporating it into a pollution forecast system.

New pollution-forecast system

The new system will use a different modelling approach as well as computational techniques from that employed in the SAFAR model. SAFAR will continue to be the backbone for pollution forecast but this new system will use different method of analysis for better resolution and more accurate forecasts.


Delhi’s air quality very poor: SAFAR

According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) national capital New Delhi’s air quality was recorded in the ‘very poor’ category.

The average (24-hour rolling) of PM2.5 and PM10, suspended respirable pollutants, were recorded as 120.8 and 248 micrograms per cubic metre as against safe limits of 60 and 100.

The poor air quality may lead to respiratory problems, irritation to eyes and skin, blurring of vision and headache.

The major reasons for the poor air quality may due to the favourable cold weather conditions coupled with very light wind, vehicular pollution and farm fires in neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana.

What is System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)?

  • SAFAR was introduced by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) for greater metropolitan cities of India to provide location specific information on air quality in near real time.
  • It was developed by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune along with India Meteorological Department (IMD) and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).
  • The main objective of SAFAR project is to increase awareness among general public regarding the air quality.
  • The purpose awareness for general public is to take appropriate mitigation measures and systematic action for betterment of air quality and related health issues.