Environment min unveils smog tower at Delhi’s Anand Vihar
The union environment ministry on Tuesday launched Prana, a portal on progress of the national clean air programme. It also inaugurated an experimental smog tower at Anand Vihar on the occasion of International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.
Bhupender Yadav, environment minister, said out of 132 cities that do not meet the clean air standards, 86 had shown improvement in air quality parameters in 2018, which increased to 104 cities in 2020. The environment ministry will be sharing the list and status of cities later in the day.
The Supreme Court directed the government to explore the possibility of installing smog towers (giant air filters) in the national capital in 2019 following an episode of smog and very poor air quality.
The smog tower has been developed by teams from IIT Delhi and Mumbai and will be used experimentally for two years before deciding on whether the technology can be scaled up. It is effective within 1km radius, according to environment ministry officials.
India released its National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in January 2019. NCAP doesn’t have a legal mandate but aims to achieve a 20% to 30% reduction in PM 2.5 (respirable, pollution particles) concentrations over 2017 annual levels in over a hundred cities by 2024.