Science

CM Kejriwal to inaugurate Delhi 1st smog tower on August 23

PTI New Delhi | Updated on August 19, 2021

The smog tower will reduce concentration of PM2.5 by up to 70 per cent in a 1-km radius, purify 1,000 cubic metres of air per second

Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, will inaugurate the capital’s first smog tower at Connaught Place on August 23, Delhi Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, said on Thursday.

The over 20-metre-tall structure, being set up to improve air quality in a radius of around 1 km, will “operate at full capacity” after the monsoon season, the minister told reporters.

“Chief Minister Arvid Kejriwal will inaugurate the smog tower on August 23. Thereafter, experts will ascertain its impact on pollution. Based on the results, we will take the decision on installing more equipment,” he said.

Rai had earlier said the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the construction work of the smog tower. The Delhi cabinet had approved the pilot project in October last year.

Pilot study

A two-year pilot study will be undertaken to ascertain the effectiveness of the smog tower after it becomes operational, an official said. A control room has been set up at the site to monitor operations.

Another 25-metre-tall smog tower, built by the central government at Anand Vihar, is expected to be operational by August 31, officials of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said.

Tata Projects Limited is building the two smog towers with technical support from IIT Bombay which, in collaboration with IIT Delhi, will validate their performance. The National Board for Certified Counselors India has been appointed as project management consultant. The Central Pollution Control Board is the nodal agency for the tower at Anand Vihar, while the Delhi Pollution Control Committee is the nodal agency for the one coming up at Connaught Place.

Purify air

The two towers will have 1,200 air filters each developed by experts at the University of Minnesota in the United States — who also helped design a 100-metre-high smog tower in Xian, China. The smog towers, built at a cost of ₹22 crore each, are estimated to reduce the concentration of PM2.5 by up to 70 per cent in a 1-km radius around them.

They will be able to purify 1,000 cubic metres of air per second, according to Rai.

The Supreme Court had, in January last year, directed the central government to construct a smog tower to reduce pollution at Anand Vihar, and the Delhi government to install another such structure at Connaught Place in three months.

In August, the apex court had reprimanded the Centre and the State government for missing the deadline for completion of the two smog towers.

Published on August 19, 2021

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