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Connaught Place Smog Tower Has Noticeable Impact On Air Pollution Up To 300 Metres: Delhi Minister Gopal Rai

Sharing the data collected over a year, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the giant air purifier (smog tower) can cut down air pollution by 70 to 80 per cent within a radius of 50 metres and by 15 to 20 per cent up to 300 metres

Connaught Place Smog Tower Has Noticeable Impact On Air Pollution Up To 300 Meters: Delhi Minister Gopal Rai
Over 24-metre-high smog tower was installed in Connaught Place, Delhi last year

New Delhi: The smog tower at Connaught Place here has a noticeable impact on air pollution up to a distance of 300 metres, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Friday (October 14). Sharing the data collected over a year, he said the giant air purifier can cut down air pollution by 70 to 80 per cent within a radius of 50 metres and by 15 to 20 per cent up to 300 metres. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the over 24-metre-high smog tower at Connaught Place on August 23 last year.

Also Read: Hyperlocal Emissions Behind Spike In Pollution In Delhi On Dussehra

The city government had formed a team of experts from IIT-Bombay to study its impact over two years.

Officials had earlier said the Rs 20 crore smog tower can purify the air in a one-km radius at a rate of around 1,000 cubic metres per second.

It is based on a downdraft airflow model. Its 40 huge fans suck air from the top of a special type of canopy structure and release clean air below.

“The data collected over the last one year showed the smog tower has a noticeable impact on air pollution within a radius of 300 metres,” Mr Rai said.

An official pointed out that a bulk of data was collected in the summer and monsoon season when the concentration of particulate matter was “anyway very low” and hence, “one cannot expect a significant impact of smog tower at a longer distance when the air is already clean”.

Also Read: Delhi Government Launches Anti-Dust Campaign To Control Air Pollution

He said the smog tower did not operate at maximum capacity initially — leaks allowed entry of polluted air and filters would get dislodged at high fan speed while high humidity ruined them. He said,

The fan speed has improved from 50 per cent in the initial months to 100 per cent now and the filters are stable.

“We expect a greater impact on the ambient air quality in the upcoming winter season when the system will be operated at optimum level. The tower is operating close to its designed capacity (90 per cent),” the official said.

IIT-Bombay will submit a final report after a year. During this time, detailed investigations will be carried out to evolve more operational parameters, cut costs and maximize the efficiency of the smog tower, he said.

Mr Rai said the construction of more smog towers in the national capital would depend on the success of the pilot project.

The experts are also trying to figure out ways to make smog towers cost-effective, he added.

Also Read: Primary Trial Of Smog Tower Completed, 90 Per Cent Reduction In Pollution Level Observed

Another official said the two-year study is also focusing on reducing the size of the structure, minimizing energy consumption, and developing design parameters and specifications for low-cost indigenous filters and fans.

The smog tower at Baba Kharak Singh Marg has 5,000 coarse filters and 5,000 fine filters developed by experts at the University of Minnesota which also helped design a 100-metre-high smog tower at Xian in China.

The Supreme Court had in January 2020 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.

According to Central Pollution Control Board data, the smog tower at Anand Vihar reduced PM2.5 concentration by up to 17 per cent and PM10 pollution levels by up to 27 per cent in a radius of 100 metres in the 2021-22 winter season.

Also Read: Smog Towers ‘Quick Fix’, No Scientific Evidence They Tackle Pollution Long-Term: Experts

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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