Levels of particulate matter, both PM2.5 and PM 10, remained six to eight times the safe levels as the Delhi government tested out an anti-smog ‘gun’ at Anand Vihar on Wednesday, leaving officials and environmentalists unsure of the exact impact of the experiment.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had carried out the experiment where the cannon was used to spray mist in order to make dust settle. The demonstration, which lasted from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m., was launched by Environment Minister Imran Hussain in the morning.
Mr. Hussain said the DPCC will carry out more experiments to see which machinery can be used to control pollution.
According to sources in the Environment Department, several private companies will be contacted for demonstrations of mist guns or other technology.
Mr. Hussain had said that the government will analyse the air quality data from the Anand Vihar experiment. The vehicle-mounted cannon uses a water tanker and requires a power source.
With the overall ambient air quality dipping on Wednesday, the levels of PM2.5 and PM10 remained several times over the standards throughout the day.
Air quality station
Since the DPCC’s air quality station at Anand Vihar is usually the one with the highest levels, Mr. Hussain said the location was chosen for the experiment.
The level of PM10 at Anand Vihar started at 630 micrograms per cubic metre at 10 a.m., fluctuating through the day, reaching the maximum of 873 at 3 p.m., before settling at 693 at 6 p.m — all well above the standard of 100.
Similarly, the level of PM2.5 fluctuated between 421 micrograms per cubic metre (at 11 a.m.) and 527 (at 3.30 p.m.) — well over the standard of 60.
Meanwhile, experts remained sceptical of the experiment.
Greenpeace India campaigner Sunil Dahiya said mist or sprinkling of water should be used only in emergency situations or at sensitive spots like hospitals.
“Doing anything and everything apart from reducing pollution at source is not the solution,” said Mr. Dahiya.
He added that spraying of mist will only impact a limited area and cannot be used all over the city.
Mist or sprinkling of water should be used only in emergency situations or at sensitive spots like hospitals
Greenpeace India campaigner