India’s national capital, Delhi got its first-ever much-needed smog tower, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday. A 20-meter-tall structure was set up at Baba Kharak Singh Marg in Connaught Place in order to combat rising air pollution in Delhi.
The smog tower is a structure designed to work as a large-scale air purifier in order to reduce air pollution particles. It is an essential equipment for Delhi, which is one of the most polluted cities across the country and the world and has seen a major fall in its air quality for the past few years.
Inaugurating the project, Kejriwal said, “We have installed India’s first smog tower in Delhi today. It can help clean the air within one-kilometre range. It has been installed on an experimental basis and data from it will be analysed by IIT-Delhi and IIT-Bombay,”
He said that the smog tower will help purify 1,000 cubic meters of air per second. A control room has been set up at the site to monitor the operation of smog tower.
The Delhi government plans to add more smog towers after studying the impact this one makes on pollution. During the inauguration, Delhi’s environment minister Gopal Rai said the AAP government will form a team of experts for the study which is expected to last two years.
“Smog tower is designed to work as large-scale air purifiers, which is fitted with multiple layers of air filters and fans at the base to suck the air. After the polluted air enters the smog tower, it is purified by the multiple layers before being re-circulated into the atmosphere,” said an official in Delhi’s environment department.
Another such tower has been constructed at Anand Vihar, one of the pollution hotspots in the national capital. The 25-metre-tall tower is expected to become operational by the end of August, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
These towers have been built by Tata Projects Limited (TPL), with technical assistance from IIT Bombay and in collaboration with IIT Delhi.
Following high pollution levels in the national capital, the Supreme Court had in November 2019 asked the Centre and the Delhi government to come up with a road map on installing smog towers in the national capital region (NCR) to combat air pollution.
The smog towers are being installed on the lines of China, which has experimented with this technology in its capital Beijing and other cities.
Delhi was the most polluted capital city in the world in 2020 for the third consecutive year, according to a report by a Swiss group (released in March this year) that ranked cities based on their air quality measured in terms of the levels of ultrafine particulate matter (PM 2.5) that can enter the organs and cause lasting damage.