Delhi-NCR Pollution: The two-year trial experiment to establish a clean air zone in Delhi, complete with a pollution tower at Connaught Place (CP), has only had a limited impact on the city’s air quality and hasn’t significantly improved it. The national capital’s air quality index (AQI) slightly improved to the “very poor” category on Wednesday morning before returning to “severe.” The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reports that the AQI was 452 in Anand Vihar, 433 in RK Puram, 460 in Punjabi Bagh, and 413 in ITO.
What is Smog Tower
In essence, a smog tower is a big air cleaner. In August 2021, the Delhi government installed the country’s first smog tower in CP, as per a ruling issued by the Supreme Court in September 2020. Later that year, the Centre erected a like one in Anand Vihar. A group of researchers from IIT-Bombay and IIT-Delhi examined the effectiveness of these smog towers in creating clean air zones in particular areas and in lowering the concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10, the two main pollutants, over the course of the previous two years.
Delhi’s Lingering Air Quality Crisis
According to information provided by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the Air Quality Index (AQI) was measured at 395 today after surpassing 400 (severe category) in the previous several days. Numerous Delhi citizens and commuters reported having respiratory issues. They therefore pleaded with the government and relevant authorities to take immediate action to stop the out-of-control air pollution.
The Costly Installation
According to official sources in Delhi who are aware of the study’s findings, the 24-meter-tall structure only slightly improves the quality of the air, and only within a 500-meter radius. According to information provided in the 2020 order of the supreme court, the smog tower in CP was constructed at an expense of Rs 20 crore and has 40 fans that force air through filtration systems that are 4 metres high and cover the four sides of the building with a total airflow rate of 960 cubic metres per second (m3/second). The order also stated that the structure’s effective clean air delivery rate was 75 million m3/day.