Delhi’s ₹23.70 Crore Smog Tower: What Happened To It And Why Is It Locked Up As AQI Dips?

by Vaishalee Kalvankar
Delhi’s ₹23.70 Crore Smog Tower: What Happened To It And Why Is It Locked Up As AQI Dips?

Delhi’s Air Quality Index was seen at 470, which shows how the city’s air quality is dipping to hazardous levels. With the government coming up with new plans to curb and battle this smog, one question remains unanswered. What happened to the ₹23.70 crore smog tower that was inaugurated in the city in the year 2021? Shouldn’t it be functioning at this point when the AQI of the city is simply dipping day by day?

Supreme Court Orders Operationalization Of Delhi’s Smog Tower

Credits: @kejriwal.X

The smog tower remains locked up even while the national capital is still covered in a thick layer of haze.

Despite the dangerously high levels of air pollution in the nation’s capital and its surrounding areas, the smog tower in Connaught Place remains closed. Experts report that the smog tower is ineffective.

On November 7, the Supreme Court ordered the “operationalization” of the pollution tower located in Connaught Place in New Delhi. Regarding the smog tower problem, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) chairperson was also called before the Supreme Court.

It should be mentioned that on November 3, the air quality in the majority of the nation’s capital fell into the “severe” category, and India’s first smog tower stood vacant at Connaught Place, Delhi. (As per MoneyControl)

Also Read: Delhis AQI Reaches 470 Bringing Back Odd-Even Rule For Commute To Battle Degrading Air Quality

Gopal Rai Requests Suspension of DPCC Chairman

The smog tower was reportedly managed by a group of ten individuals. This includes engineers, assistants, and operators. But the team was eliminated half a year ago, according to the reports.

In a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai requested that Ashwani Kumar, the chairman of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, be suspended for “arbitrarily halting” the operation of a sizable smog tower that was put in place at Connaught Place two years ago to reduce air pollution.

In the correspondence addressed to Mr. Kejriwal, Mr. Rai additionally requested disciplinary measures against Anwar Ali, the project manager, whom the minister charged with shifting his position about the efficacy of the smog tower due to coercion from Kumar.

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The Tower Releases Cleansed Air

Credits: Canva

The tower takes in all the contaminated air and releases cleansed, purified air. This is carried by its 40 fans and 5,000 air filters. The 24-meter-tall smog tower is capable of filtering 1,000 cubic meters of air each second. This will take place within a one-kilometer radius. 
In August 2021, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated this tower. Connaught Place’s smog tower was built as an experimental structure. One of Delhi’s pollution hotspots, Anand Vihar, recently witnessed the opening of another smog tower.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) recommended closing the smog tower after a two-year project found that the reduction in particulate matter (PM) was only about 12–13% at a distance of 100 meters from the smog tower.

The organization suggested making renovations and converting the space into an environmental and climate change innovation hub. (As per India Today)

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What are your views?

Cover Image Courtesy: @gaurav_harit/X (formerly Twitter)

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