CM Kejriwal to inaugurate India’s first smog tower in Delhi today

CM Kejriwal

Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal is slated to inaugurate India’s first-ever smog tower, on August 23, at Baba Kharak Singh Marg in the Connaught Place area of the national capital. The tower will aid the government to combat surging air pollution in Delhi.

In October last year, the Delhi cabinet gave a go-ahead to the smog tower project. According to Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai, the smog tower is a 20-meter-tall structure that has been set up to improve the air quality of the surrounding areas. It will cleanse the air within its one-kilometre radius. The tower is said to work at its full capacity after the monsoon season. The smog tower is built at a cost of Rs 20 crore and has been funded by the Government of Delhi.

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Rai, a week ago, told the reporters that “Thereafter, experts will ascertain its impact on pollution. Based on the results, we will make a decision on installing more such equipment.” Previously, the Minister said that the smog tower construction work was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initiatives like smog tower are essential to clean and maintain the air quality of Delhi which is one of the most polluted cities not only in India but across the world. Such a tower reduces pollution-causing particles in the air and works as a large-scale air purifier. Since the past few years, the national capital has witnessed a major drop in its air quality.

Elaborating on the functioning of the smog tower, Rai said, on August 19, that the smog tower at Connaught Place will be able to purify 1,000 cubic metres of air every second. As reported by PTI, according to an official, a study will be undertaken for two years to analyse the effectiveness of the tower after it starts operating. Also, a control room has also been set up at the site for monitoring of its operations.

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In the meantime, the Centre has also set up a 25-metre-tall smog tower at Delhi’s Anand Vihar. This tower might begin its functioning by the end of the month, said the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on August 19.

Tata Projects Limited (TPL) took the task to build both the smog towers for the Delhi Government and for the Centre. The TPL has taken technical assistance from IIT Bombay in association with IIT Delhi. Further, the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) India Ltd. has been appointed as the project management consultant.

Reportedly, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has been made the nodal agency for the smog tower in Connaught Place while the CPCB has been made the nodal agency for the tower in Anand Vihar. The two towers host 1,200 air filters each. These have been developed by the University of Minnesota in the United States. These towers are likely to cut down the concentration of PM2.5 levels up to 70 per cent in a one-kilometre radius around them.

(With inputs from PTI)