SAFAR stands for System of Air Quality and Forecasting And Research. It is an air quality monitoring and forecasting network established by IITM, Pune. Since the project is being implemented in the PMR it is abbreviated as SAFAR-Pune or PUNERI-AIR so as to get mass appeal. SAFAR-Pune is not only a scientific project but also a mission mode journey with a single point agenda to-

SAFAR-Pune will integrate several complex components like air pollution monitoring network (AQMS) at 11 different locations in PMR, 11 integrated automatic weather stations, high resolution emission inventory, activity data and 3-D coupled atmospheric chemistry transport modeling system within PMR (in an area of 40x40 km from its centre) to facilitate current and forecasted information of major criteria air pollutants such as O3, NOx, CO, PM2.5, PM10, benzene, toluene and Xylene including weather parameters and UV-Index and to disseminate the obtained data in terms of meaningful information for a common citizen through various media devices.


For a city like PMR, assessment of environmental pollutants exposure and its impact on human health, vegetations, water quality and ecosystem became a necessity so as to spread awareness among masses. It is felt necessary that knowing the quality of air we breathe and its knowledge in advance would go in a long way for the citizens living in PMR to prepare themselves and take preventive measures. The atmosphere of awareness and sensitizing citizens on the subject would likely to pave the way for mitigation step to an individual and also to formulate the strategies for policy makers. This will eventually lead to betterments of people living in PMR.


There are 5 key criteria pollutants which are most hazardous to our health and crop yields, will be forecasted namely PM2.5, PM10, O3, CO and NOx. Although the information about other pollutants namely Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, CO2, BC and Hg will also be collected for research and development purposes.


AQI can be said to be a yardstick that runs from 0 to 500. These values can provide the public with timely and easy-to-understand information on local air quality and whether air pollution levels pose a health concern. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and greater is the health risk. For example, an AQI value of 50 represents good air quality and little potential to affect public health, whereas an AQI value over 300 represents very poor air quality. Briefly, AQI is a health protection alarming tool that is designed to help one make decision to protect ones health by limiting short-term exposure to air pollution and adjusting ones activity levels during increased levels of air pollution. It also provides advice on how one can improve the quality of the air one inhales. This index pays particular attention to people who are sensitive to air pollution and provides them with advice on how to protect their health during air quality levels associated with low, moderate, high and very high health risks.


Yes, India has the AQI now defined purely from the scientific perspective. This has been made possible very recently by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) which has released a research Report No. RR-127 (ISSN 0252-1075) entitles “ SCEINETIFIC EVALUATION OF AIR QUALITY STANDARDS AND DEFINING AIR QUALITY INDEX FOR INDIA” authored by GufranBeig, Sachin Ghude and AparnaDeshpande of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune. This report has been released on 22nd September 2010 on the occasion of Commonwealth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium by Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India. The Indian national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) were made available by the Ministry of Environment and Forecast (MoEF) which paved the way to define the AQI.


PM10 includes both the coarse particles (particle size less than10 µm) which include PM2.5 as well as all particles between 2.5 and 10 microns. Hence, PM10 concentration can never be less than PM2.5. Please remember that here you are talking about “CONCENTRATION” However, as per the National ambient air quality standards, concentration of PM10 defined is higher (100) than PM2.5 (60). Hence, while normalizing the values to AQI the values of AQI for PM10 may become less than that of PM2.5.