Measures Against Air Pollution
Updated: Nov 27, 2022
By Staff Writer
Recently Ashoka’s Air Quality Index (AQI) shot up to 440. While the administration put some measures to address it in place, some students have raised concerns about the same.
The Edict reached out to the administration to learn what measures were taken to tackle the pollution in the vicinity. They said the University has installed purifiers in every common sitting space on and even off campus (TDI, Parker and where the YIFs stay on the IIT campus). To improve the AQI, as per the pollution laws in Haryana, they stopped the construction of the north campus and the area around the mess. The administration also switched on sprinklers and monitored the AQI before and after doing so. Aside from strategies to lower the AQI, they introduced anti-oxidants, such as jaggery and ‘amla’, in the mess. Further, the administration encouraged students to get plants from the nursery to help with oxidation. To treat any respiratory illnesses, the infirmary was stocked with oxygen meters, cylinders and anything else needed.
Many students, however, do not feel that these measures have been effective. One of them said, “We can’t judge the quality of air in the common rooms because we don’t sit there often”. Another said, “The sprinklers were effective and switching them on everyday between 4am - 8am would help ensure decent air quality. But, it is obvious that this takes a lot of water, so a better solution would be more air purifiers”.
In a campus-wide survey released on November 14th, the Campus Life Ministry (CLM) tried to gauge student reaction to the adopted smog measures. Their responses (233 in total) indicated that 54.9% of respondents felt like air purifiers had made a difference in public spaces. 86.3% also felt like the rooftop sprinklers had made a difference although there was general consensus asking the administration to install purifiers in every class and other common spaces.
The Edict further asked the admin why the number of purifiers can’t be increased. They explained that the current number of purifiers can handle the load. They also said that not increasing the number of purifiers in places like the library, a concern brought up by students, is justified as the back doors are frequently opened, hence worsening the air quality.