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What is a SMOG Tower? | Pollution Levels in Delhi

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What is a SMOG Tower? | Pollution Levels in Delhi

shape Introduction

What is an SMOG Tower and how does it work?

As per a recent report by the World Health Organization, data about the top polluting cities of the world have been recorded. The study says that India is the highest contributor to air pollution, in which seven Indian cities being present in the list of top ten cities. It is a matter of concern as far as the quality of the air is considered. With the growing air pollution, the rate of air pollution borne diseases would be on the rise. A more striking fact is that the number of cities increases when we consider the top 20 most polluting cities in the world.

The increased level of air pollution can have multiple impacts on the nation on a global scale. The health of the population would be at risk, eventually, the national expenditure on health care would increase. Increasing pollution would have an impact on tourism and the overall economy of the nation.

A striking revelation has been made in Business Standard wherein a record 1.2 million Indians have lost their lives. The only reason owing to such death is air pollution. Moreover, the average reduction in the age of the child has been recorded to be 2.5 years, due to the increased air pollution.

shape SMOG

Specifically, Delhi has been hit the worst with the increasing particulate matter in the air. Factors including the rise of transportation and the stubble burning have been a major contributor to Delhi pollution.

Geographically, the direction of the wind changes its direction from Punjab & Haryana to Delhi. Winter, being the month of stubble burning, winds from the agricultural states bring the particulate matter. The heavy wind settles down over Delhi that accentuates the air pollution.
The Supreme Court has termed the condition as being equivalent to staying inside the poisonous gas chamber. To mitigate such conditions, the Supreme Court has ordered the installation of the Smog Towers in Delhi. It is installed to do away with the pollutants in the air present in the national capital. Reducing the particulate matter in the air is intended to make the air breathable in Delhi.

To counter the growing air pollution, Smog Tower has been installed at Lajpat Nagar Market, in South Delhi. The tower is made up of bricks, fitted with air purifiers that can treat close to 6 Lakh cubic meters of air per day. Seeing an average of 15,000 footfall daily, the smog tower in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar has become the first of its kind in India.
The inspiration for the SMOG tower has been derived from China. China, also battling with air pollution of its kind, has installed SMOG towers to cleanse their air. Delhi saw its first smog tower on 3rd January 2020, being inaugurated by Mr. Gautam Gambhir. Gautam Gambhir is a former international Indian cricketer.
Though there are other alternatives to battle the increasing air-pollution, smog tower was given preference. A primary reason was the efficiency of SMOG tower, as it can remove an average of 5 Lakhs cubic meter of particulate matter per day. In countries like China, Smog Towers have been extended to make rings using the particulate matter. Another reason why a SMOG tower was given preference was the ease of installation. Up to recently, it has seen a footfall of around 15,000 people, thus it can also be a site of attraction for the people. The consumption of power is comparatively less in SMOG towers, which increases its efficiency too.
The structure of the SMOG tower has a series of filters present on them. The filters allow the air to enter the SMOG tower. The particulate matter from the air gets removed within the SMOG tower, due to a series of filters present within the SMOG tower.
Replacement and maintenance of the filters on a regular basis is required, which would cost around Rs 30,000/ year.

The filters have the major component of carbon nanofibers, which will help to retain the particulate matter present in the air. The use of ionization technology and particulate filter S9 ensures the purification of the SMOG from the air. Based on the ionization of the particulate matter and their attraction to oppositely charged plates in the filter, elimination takes place.

The academic institutes that have been a part of the project are the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Bombay and the University of Minnesota. The Indian Government’s CPCB has also been an active contributor in this project, that has looked into the installation of the SMOG tower.

shape Conclusion

One of the excellent steps taken by the Supreme Court, SMOG tower aims to reduce air pollution in Delhi. Upon successful implementation, it can also be scaled up for better results.

Author: Biplab Roy
Published: January 09, 2020

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