India's earth sciences ministry Tuesday launched the country's first air quality mobile application to provide the forecast for air quality and corresponding health advisories in real time. The service is presently for Delhi and Pune.
Available on Android at present, SAFAR-AIR will provide current and one to three day forecast based on a colour-coded system indicating air quality, where red would mean "very poor".
Developed by scientists at the Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology that had earlier designed country's first air quality forecasting scheme - system for air quality forecasting and research (SAFAR) - this mobile app can be downloaded free of charge at http://safar.tropmet.res.in. It is also available on Google Play Store and on the ministry's website.
The users in Delhi and Pune, the first two cities to get the service, would now be able to plan their personal outdoor activities based on the advisories on the app.
SAFAR-Mumbai will be launched in April 2015.
Releasing the app, Earth Sciences Secretary Shailesh Nayak said SAFAR-AIR was an effort by the government to generate consciousness among people and orient them towards a sustainable lifestyle low on carbon emissions.
He said the initiative was also expected to help policy makers adopt city-level practical measures for clean air, especially in Delhi.
Delhi would have air quality information and advisories available for five locations - west, east, north, south, and central while it would be four - in Pune.