Smog Tower Delhi: All you need to know about country’s first smog tower | Delhi News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated a 24-metre-high anti-smog tower at Connaught Place on Monday. It is believed to be able to clean up to 1,000 cubic metres of air every second and render around a square kilometre more breathable.
The CM said IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi, both collaborators in the project, will carry out studies to determine the efficacy of the tower in curbing PM10 and PM2.5 pollution.
Photos: Delhi gets India’s first smog tower

The tower, with Tata Projects Limited, NBCC and University of Minnesota as the other collaborators, is powered by 40 fans and consists of over 5,000 filters.
While smaller “anti-smog” towers were installed in the past in Lajpat Nagar, Krishna Nagar and Gandhi Nagar, the one at Connaught Place is the largest prototype.
“This is a big step in Delhi government’s fight against air pollution,” said Kejriwal, while inaugurating the installation. “Supported by technology from USA never seen before in India, this anti-smog tower is the first of its kind in the country. The tower will be able to clean 1,000 cubic metres of air per second and it is expected that the area will see a rapid change in the quality of air because of the tower.”
He said that once the two IITs analysed data and submitted a report on the pilot project’s effectiveness and if the result prove satisfactory, the model could be replicated in other parts of Delhi. Tata Projects erected the anti-smog tower, with NBCC providing consultancy. The IITs and Minnesota University, which installed a similar tower in China, provided expertise for the Rs 20-crore project.
Kejriwal said the efforts of Delhi government had brought down the city’s annual average PM10 concentration from 324ppm in 2014 to 187ppm this year and PM2.5 level from 149ppm in 2014 to 101ppm in 2021. Ratings below 100ppm for PM10 and 60ppm for PM2.5 are considered acceptable. The CM said he will receive reports of the performance of the tower every month.
Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai, present at the inauguration, said the state government was committed to fighting pollution. “Once the monsoon season is over, the tower will function at full capacity and then experts from IIT-D and IIT-B will begin their research on its efficacy,” said Rai.
Experts, however, argue against the concept of anti-smog towers, asking instead for the funds to be used to boost public transport or to reduce the sources of pollution. Tanushree Ganguly, programme lead, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, pointed out that there was no scientific evidence even abroad on smog towers being a viable solution to filtering poor outside air.
“The effectiveness of the smog tower should be analysed rigorously by the state government and the data should be made publica,” said Ganguly. “Only once evidence on usefulness is available should the state and other parts of the country consider investing in more such towers.”
Ganguly said that rather than investing in unproven technologies, Delhi had to set an example by redirecting the funds to strengthen the monitoring of construction sites and industrial units, improving waste management in the city and prioritising health risk communications.
There were similar thoughts expressed by Santosh Harish of the Centre for Policy Research. He said the costs incurred in smog towers were better spent in cutting emissions at source.
Ronak Sutaria, CEO, Respirer Living Sciences, noted that there were expenses involved not just in erecting the tower, but also running it. A low-power 2-metre industrial fan generally consumes 24 kilowatt per hour of energy, meaning each is roughly like a 24-tonne air conditioner, Sutaria said. “There are 40 fans running in the smog tower,” he added.


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