Union Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav has inaugurated the second Smog tower at Anand Vihar in Delhi. The event also marked the acknowledgment of the second International Day of Clean Air For Blue Skies.
However, it is important to note that the first smog tower that was inaugurated on 23rd August received a wide range of criticism from the experts and has not even become fully functional yet.
On the occasion of the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, the union environment ministry launched a portal to monitor the progress of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) called Prana.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is the nodal agency responsible for the tower at Anand Vihar. Similar to the first one at Connaught Place, this tower can filter around 1,000 cubic meters of air per second and stands at a height of around 24 meters.
Air is drawn in from the top, passed through filters, and released at the bottom of the tower through 40 fans installed along the base, reported The Indian Express.
Also, the report added that the filters are still being installed in the first tower at Connaught Place. The fans at the base of the tower had been switched on as part of the inauguration and were switched on a couple of times after that. However, the fans were not running on Tuesday afternoon, the guard at the site told The Indian Express.
The Supreme Court instructed the government to see if the idea of smog towers (giant air filters) is possible in the national capital in 2019 following an episode of smog and very poor air quality, reported the HT Times.
Teams from IIT Delhi and Mumbai have developed these smog towers on an experimental basis for two years before deciding on whether the technology is feasible to be employed across the country.It is effective within a 1 km radius, according to environment ministry officials.
Moreover, The Hindu also highlighted the Delhi government’s plan to implement a “winter action plan” since winters are almost around the corner. It would be inclusive of the issue of stubble burning, which is the primary cause of extensive smog in Delhi and the nearby states.
Environment Minister Gopal Rai said that a delegation from the Delhi government will be meeting with the Union Environment Minister and Commission for Air Quality Management to discuss stubble burning in neighboring states and the steps that could be taken to control it.
Mr. Rai requested the neighboring States of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh to take control of the vehicular and dust pollution. He said that if the governments come together and adopt ample anti-pollution measures, then not just Delhi, but entire North India could become pollution-free.
“It is very difficult to reduce pollution in the whole of North India just by making efforts in Delhi. We will set out on the tough roads too, but the whole fight will be a lot easier if all the States cooperate,” said Mr. Rai.