A government department making a useful, clever and nimble use of technology doesn't strike me as a particularly plausible idea either.
They're seriously thinking of getting industrial quality air quality monitoring into a lamp post? 'Cause this is what their current ones look like:
EPD - Air Quality Monitoring Equipment
It's... just a little bit bulkier than your average lamp post. I've got compact, simple meters at home, but all they do are uncalibrated particle counts, and they will clog up if left running 24x7 in the dusty air here. I'm going to hazard a guess that this was a "let's throw things at a wall and see what sticks" excercise.