The air quality in your neighbourhood--and its impact on health--is now just a tweet away.

Starting today, in collaboration with Twitter, IndiaSpend is pleased to announce India's first real-time air-quality updates delivered to your phone. The system is based on #Breathe, IndiaSpend's network of air-quality sensors, India's first such independent effort.

Here's how it works: Post a tweet with the keyword #breathe followed by your city and neighbourhood.

For instance:

Within seconds, you will get a tweet like this:

The system is designed to locate the nearest IndiaSpend air-quality monitoring station within 25 km of you. If there isn't a sensor within that range, you will a tweet telling you that.

#Breathe monitoring stations have been deployed in four Indian cities – 25 in New Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), 10 in Mumbai, 10 in Bengaluru, 2 in Chennai and 1 in Lucknow.

The government air-quality monitoring network has about 16 monitoring stations in New Delhi and NCR, 11 in Mumbai, 10 in Pune.

How do government sensors, which tend to be far costlier and more sophisticated, compare with IndiaSpend's low-cost network?

We compared data from four monitoring stations (Anand Vihar, Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh and R K Puram) run by the Delhi Pollution Control Centre with IndiaSpend #Breathe data and found similar patterns:

What is special about Twitter updates?

Making location-specific air quality data available on a platform like Twitter not only benefits you but opens up the use of real-time air-quality data for machine-to-machine and applications related to the Internet of things (IoT), meaning the data can potentially be embedded in a host of devices, from refrigerators to cars.

The Twitter platform is a key element powering the web-triggered Internet of Things movement. Intermediate platforms such as IFTTT and ThingSpeak have been connecting Twitter-enabled applications with other IoT devices and solutions.

The IndiaSpend #Breathe Twitter-based data dissemination hopes to become a pioneer in the use of real-time air quality data for such Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

We welcome feedback. Please write to We reserve the right to edit responses for language and grammar.


Liked this story? is a non-profit, and we depend on readers like you to drive our public-interest journalism efforts. Donate Rs 500; Rs 1,000, Rs 2,000.