Govt. seeks IIT-Bombay’s help to build smog tower

20-metre tower with air purifiers proposed

The Delhi government has written two letters this month to IIT-Bombay seeking assistance in building a ‘smog tower’ in Connaught Place to control air pollution.

After being asked by the Supreme Court to check the feasibility of the tower in November, a High-Level Committee (HLC), comprising experts and government officials, had submitted in December a proposal for a 20-metre ‘smog tower’ fitted with air purifiers to clean the air.

On January 13, it was approved by the top court and the court gave the Delhi government three months to install the tower in Connaught Place.

On the same day, the court also ordered a ‘smog tower’ to be installed in Anand Vihar by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

“Would request you to impress upon Centre for Science and Environmental Engineering of IIT-Bombay to assist Government of NCT of Delhi for setting up the Smog Tower using the same formulation as has been done for the CPCB,” a letter dated February 7 from Special Secretary of Environment Department, Arun Mishra, to Director of IIT-Bombay read.

Later, a reminder was sent to IIT-Bombay on Tuesday requesting the institute to respond that would help the Delhi comply with the Supreme Court order and fight air pollution.

“Basically, we want to sign an MoU with IIT-Bombay for construction of the smog tower. They would be responsible for the complete work and we will monitor it,” a senior Delhi government official told The Hindu.

In the proposal submitted to the Supreme Court in December, the committee had said that 65% reduction in pollution could be achieved on an average up to 700 metres from the tower. The tower is also expected to influence air quality of more than 1 km in the downwind direction.

However, the committee had also said that smog towers, as per the current knowledge and experience, might not provide a “viable solution” to improve air quality on a “large scale”. Officials said that since there was a localised effect, they still wanted to try it.

The tower is expected to cost around ₹12-15 crore, but the Delhi government is yet to receive a concrete proposal from IIT-Bombay.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 5:18:49 AM |

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