Agreement in place to install smog tower at Anand Vihar
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra that the first installment for the project, estimated at Rs 18.58 crore, has been released and once the design of the tower is available from University of Minnesota, work will begin.Updated: Aug 05, 2020 02:13 IST
The Centre has formalised an agreement for setting up the first smog tower in Delhi on an experimental basis at Anand Vihar to curb rising air pollution.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has entered a tripartite agreement on July 30 with IIT-Bombay, the technical supervisor of the project, and Tata Projects Limited (TPL), the agency that will execute the project within 10 months after the designs are obtained from US-based University of Minnesota, which holds the patent for the technology.
Last week, the Supreme Court had warned that it would initiated contempt proceedings against IIT-Bombay for threatening to back out of the proposal to construct smog towers in Delhi.
In an affidavit filed by MoEFCC in order to persuade the court from taking an adverse view of the delay to execute the project. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra that the first installment for the project, estimated at Rs 18.58 crore, has been released and once the design of the tower is available from University of Minnesota, work will begin. The project management consultant will be National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), Mehta informed.
The bench, also comprising Justices BR Gavai and Krishna Murari said, “We want to know when the initial hiccups will be over and the work will begin.” The Court posted the matter for Monday.
The bench had last week expressed dissatisfaction over the technical designs for the smog tower being unavailable. The court reminded the Centre of its February 28 order this year directing work on the smog tower to commence forthwith. The bench was under an impression that tower designs and specifications were already in place.
The MoEFCC affidavit clarified that the delay was in finalising the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). As per the initial agreement, TPL was to obtain the designs and specification from University of Minnesota. But this took time as IIT-Bombay insisted on adding TPL in the MoU only by April this year. On April 22, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) convened a special meeting to approve the tripartite agreement between Ministry, IIT-B and TPL. The agreement was signed on July 30.