DELHI’S FIRST SMOG TOWER: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
New Delhi, the capital of India, has been reaching severe pollution level on the air quality index for years and the situation tends to get worse. The Indian government has taken various efforts to ensure controlled levels of air pollution including Delhi’s first smog tower. The tower is fitted at the Central Market in Lajpat Nagar and was inaugurated by cricketer-turned BJP MP Gautam Gambir last Friday i.e. 3rd January 2019.
DELHI AND SMOG TOWERS
In February 2018, the Delhi Government had installed an anti-pollution tower at ITO which was a pilot project that failed to yield good results. The experts have questioned the feasibility of smog towers and stated that the smog towers were not suitable for Delhi’s meteorological condition. They claimed that there is not enough evidence to prove that the anti-pollutant tower can significantly improve air quality.
“The smog tower was a prototype and more such equipment would be installed if the initiative achieves success,” said the office of East Delhi MP.
In November 2019, the Supreme Court directed the Centre and the Delhi Government to come up with a road map on installing smog towers in the national capital region (NCR) to combat air pollution.
FEATURES OF DELHI’S FIRST SMOG TOWER
The smog tower has been procured by Gautam Gambir Foundation and installed with the help of Lajpat Nagar Traders Association. The tower is expected to treat 250,000 to 600,000 cubic metres of air per day. The air purifier will run on electricity and has the following features:
Height of smog tower: The Smog tower or the giant air purifier is 20-feet-tall and has been erected on a 4 feet high platform on a covered drain near Veer Savarkar Marg in Lajpat Nagar. The total height of the tower from the ground is 24 feet. The world’s largest smog tower is situated in Shanghai China with a height of over 328 feet in height.
Design of smog tower: The design of the tower is crafted to ensure working like an air purifier operating at a larger scale. Delhi’s first smog tower has a cylindrical structure with a big inlet and four outlet units. The tower is painted in four major colours of the Indian flag including orange on the top, white in the middle, blue at the bottom and green just above the bottom.
Cost of Tower: The initiative to control air pollution has an estimated cost of Rs 7 lakh with the running cost of the device will be around Rs 30,000.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The smog tower fitted with exhaust fans will help in sucking air pollution and remove up to 80 per cent particulate matters (PM 2.5 and PM10 pollutants). The giant air purifier’s pilot project has been undertaken by the IIT Bombay along with IIT Delhi and the University of Minnesota.
The smog towers are structured and engineered to work as a large size air purifier that is usually fitted with multiple layers of air filters, which clean the air of pollutants as it passes through them.
The smog tower located in Lajpat Nagar will purify the air within the vicinity of almost 500 meters to 750 meters. The tower will purify around 2,50,000 to 6,00000 cubic meter air per day by trapping particulate matter of all sizes suspended in the air and release fresh air.
Large scale filters in the tower shall draw in the air through fans installed at the top before passing it through the filters and releasing it near the ground. The filters and will be fitted along the peripheries. They will process the air using carbon nano-fibres as a major component. The tower is an initiative to focus on reducing particulate matter load.
CHINA, AN INSPIRATION
Various nations have adopted the concept of having smog towers to battle air pollution. China has two smog towers which are located in the capital of Beijing and the northern city of Xi’an. The country is reported to have the world’s biggest air purifier which is 100 meter high located in Xian in Shaanxi province. The tower is evident in tackling air pollution has produced 10 million cubic metres of clean air every day since its launch, and on severely polluted days, can bring down smog close to moderate levels.
The tower in Beijing is built by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde The tower has been able to compress the carbon waste generated during purification to produce gemstones. The tower compresses the smog particles into dark gems in 30 minutes, which are further used for rings and cufflinks. Smog in Beijing contains over five times the acceptable maximum amount of dust particles according to the World Health Organisation which is why the need for smog towers emerged to ensure better public health.
The tower in Delhi is inspired by China, which has already experimented with this technology in dealing with the same issue of air pollution.
Also Read:- NCPD: Curbing Alarming Air Pollution In India