Delhi, that often catches attention for its infamous air pollution, has got its first-ever 20-foot-tall ‘smog tower’ to purify the air. The smog tower has been installed at South Delhi’s busy Lajpat Nagar Central Market. The installation comes as an effort to improve the air quality in the capital that remains in the range of ‘poor’ to ‘severe’ for the most part of the year.
The smog tower is not a debut technology for India as countries, including China, have tested its abilities earlier. The smog tower will be inaugurated by the cricketer-turned-politician Gambhir at noon today.
Despite the fact that China has experimented the technology earlier, experts argue that one can’t expect the same results as China in Delhi.
Anumita Roychowdhury, who is an executive director at the Centre for Science and Environment argues that there is no data to support the fact that these towers clean up outdoor ambient air quality.
“In a city like Delhi, in an open outdoor environment, where pollution levels are high, weather is dynamic and sources of pollution multiple, investing in such devices is not feasible. Nowhere in the world have we seen any data published to establish that this technology improves air quality. The same money must be spent in reducing emissions. We need real action to cut down on real emissions,” said Roychowdhury.
The 20ft tall tower has been built at a cost of Rs. 7-Lakh. The running cost of the smog tower will be approx Rs. 30,000. The electrically powered tower has exhausts that will suck the pollutants followed by treating the same air to remove 80% of the particulate matter i.e. PM 2.5 and PM 10.