Every year in the winter months, the national capital region has to deal with an unwanted guest- the smog making the simple act of breathing toxic and deadly. At the peak of the smog season, breathing in Delhi just for one day is equivalent to smoking 18 cigarettes in a day and the situation will keep on worsening if corrective measures are not taken.
But this winter season will be a bit different as Delhi is getting India’s first smog tower, which will be inaugurated today by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Built and funded by the Delhi government at a cost of ₹20 crores, it will be installed at Baba Kharak Singh Marg in the Connaught Place area to help combat rising air pollution in the national capital.
The project was sanctioned in October 2020 but was delayed due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. Delhi’s Environment minister Gopal Rai said last week that the 20-metre-long structure, which has been set up to improve air quality in a radius of around one kilometre, will function at full capacity after the monsoon season. He also informed that the smog tower will be able to purify 1,000 cubic metres of air every second. He told the media, “Thereafter, experts will ascertain its impact on pollution. Based on the results, we will take a decision on installing more equipment.”
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has also informed that the Central Government has also built a 25-metre-tall smog tower at Anand Vihar in East Delhi which might become operational by the end of August.
Both the smog towers were built by Tata Projects Limited (TPL) with technical assistance from IIT Bombay in collaboration with IIT Delhi and both use 1,200 air filters each developed by experts at the University of Minnesota in the United States. They are estimated to reduce the concentration of PM2.5 up to 70 per cent in a one-kilometre radius around them.