On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the country's first smog tower in Delhi's Connaught Place with an aim to improve the capital's air quality.
He said the tower has been set up as a pilot project and initial trends will be available within a month. If the pilot project is successful, more smog towers will be installed in the national capital.
What is the smog tower?
The pilot project of setting up the smog tower was approved last year in October by the Delhi cabinet in a bit to improve the air quality in Delhi. The smog tower will be able to purify 1,000 cubic metres of air per second, according to Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai.
The smog tower is a 20-metre-tall structure that can improve air quality in a radius of around 1 km. As per the Delhi government's previous assertions, the tower will start operating at full capacity once the monsoon season was over.
A control room has been set up at the site to monitor the operations of the smog tower.
NBCC India Ltd. has been appointed as project management consultant.
Is it the only smog tower on the cards?
The tower is part of a two-year pilot study will be undertaken to ascertain the effectiveness of the smog tower after it becomes operational.
Another 25-metre-tall smog tower, built by the central government at Anand Vihar, is expected to become operational by August 31.
CPCB is the nodal agency for the tower at Anand Vihar, while Delhi Pollution Control Committe is the nodal agency for the one coming up at Connaught Place.
Who is building the smog towers?
Tata Projects Limited (TPL) is building the two smog towers with technical support from IIT-Bombay, which, in collaboration with IIT-Delhi, will validate their performance.
The two towers will have 1,200 air filters each developed by experts at the University of Minnesota in the United States — which also helped design a 100-metre-high smog tower in Xian, China.
How much do smog towers cost?
The smog towers, being built at a cost of Rs 22 crore each.
Does Delhi need smog towers?
The idea to install smog towers to mitigate pollution was initially proposed by the Central Pollution Control Board in 2018.
The towers are estimated to reduce the concentration of PM 2.5 up to 70 per cent in a 1-km radius around them.
The national capital's air quality hit an eight-month low in October last year and has persistently made it to the news for being "severe" or "very poor" across several months.
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 completing the construction of two smog towers.
(With inputs from agencies)