Published On: Fri, Nov 3rd, 2023

Rs 23-crore smog tower in Delhi stays locked

New Delhi: As Delhi remains shrouded under a thick blanket of haze, the smog tower, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in 2021 amid much fanfare, is ‘locked up’.

The committee suggested that the site be upgraded

The Rs 23 crore-smog tower located in Connaught Place is not operational despite the fact that the national capital and its neighbouring areas are seeing hazardous air quality levels.

According to experts, they have been found to be ineffective.

The 24-metre tall smog tower had the capacity to clean 1,000 cubic metres of air within a one-kilometre radius per second. Equipped with 40 fans and 5,000 air filters, the tower sucks in polluted air and releases filtered air.

The smog tower in Connaught Place was installed on an experimental basis. Another smog tower was opened in Anand Vihar, one of the pollution hotspots in Delhi.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had suggested the shutdown of the smog tower after a two-year-long project revealed that the reduction in Particulate Matter (PM) was only around 12 per cent to 13 per cent at a distance of 100 metres from the smog tower.

The committee suggested that the site be upgraded and used as an environmental and climate change innovation centre.

The study, carried out by IIT-Bombay, also found that the smog tower’s capacity to reduce the concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 was similarly low, even at distances of 300 metres and 500 metres.

The DPCC further stated that the impact of the tower was very limited when looking at macro air quality. It was noted that the tower would work more efficiently during peak pollution loading compared to less pollution loading. However, the data revealed that particulate pollution remained very high and not much impact was seen.

The smog tower was built under the supervision of IIT-Bombay and was funded by the DPCC. Tata Projects Limited and the National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) were also part of the project.

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