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The study conducted by the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) employed a hybrid measurement approach to generate high-resolution air pollution maps. A mobile monitoring campaign was conducted where various monitoring instruments were set up in a CNG-fuelled car, which covered approximately 10% of the city's roads, to measure on-road mass concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon (BC), and number concentrations of ultrafine particles (UFPs). Additionally, a city-wide network of 55 low-cost sensors was established to measure ambient PM2.5 levels.

The study findings highlight that there is not much difference in the ambient PM2.5 concentration levels in urban and suburban areas of Bengaluru. A high PM2.5 concentration level was observed in some parts of Bengaluru’s Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) area, particularly in the western parts (Dasarahalli, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, and parts of Bommanahalli) and major road networks (Bengaluru–Mysore Road, NICE Road, Kanakpura Road, Magadi Main Road, and Tumkur Road). CSTEP also observed that on-road pollutant levels were higher than ambient pollution levels during the study period.

To make this information more useful, CSTEP partnered with Google to develop hyperlocal air quality maps from the data collected and make them available to Bengaluru city officials through the Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) tool. With the help of EIE, city officials can assess PM2.5 and other pollutant concentration levels for major streets and highways in Bengaluru and effectively identify pollution hotspots to introduce interventions.

PRESS RELEASE - Mapping Bengaluru’s air pollution using hybrid monitoring methods