Updated: March 3, 2021 1:57:20 am
Designs of how Delhi’s two new smog towers are expected to look have been made and work is underway at the project sites to ready the structures by June. The 25-metre high towers are being set up at Baba Kharak Singh Marg at Connaught Place in Central Delhi and behind the Anand Vihar Terminus in East Delhi.
Tata Projects Limited is building the structures with technical support from IIT-Bombay, in collaboration with IIT-Delhi, while the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) is the project management consultant.
The nodal agency for the tower at Connaught Place is the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), while at Anand Vihar, it is the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
A CPCB official said, “The tower at Anand Vihar should start functioning by the first week of June. The efficiency of the two towers would be studied for two years by IITs Bombay and Delhi. Based on this study, we will decide on how to take this technology forward.”
A DPCC official said the two towers would use 1,200 air filters each that have been developed by a team of experts at the University of Minnesota in the United States — which also helped design a 100-metre high smog tower in Xian, China.
Being built at a cost of Rs 22 crore each, the towers are estimated to reduce concentration of particulate matter of 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) — fine particles suspended in the air — by 50%-70% in about 1-km radius around them.
The towers are being built on directions of the Supreme Court, and officials said they are following the timelines set by the court.
Each tower would have 40 fans and 40 noise control devices, and would cover an area of 28 square metres. Air would be pulled in from the top of the towers, passed through the filters and released at the bottom, officials said.
“The filters may need to be replaced once every 6 or 12 months depending on the pollution load,” a CPCB official said, adding that the towers would create clean air zones in the city.
Delhi’s air pollution levels increase significantly in the winter from sources including construction sites, vehicular emissions, and agricultural residue and waste burning. Pollution from these sources often accumulate in the air due to poor meteorological conditions such as calm winds and low temperatures, posing a serious health risk to citizens.
At Baba Kharak Singh Marg, behind the Shivaji Stadium Metro station, a board outside the smog tower project site states that it is a “pilot study for assessment of reducing particulate air pollution in urban areas by using air cleaning system”. Inside the site last Thursday, JCB machines were at work while workers laid the foundation of the structures.
A DPCC official said the agency would make all efforts to make the tower ready by World Environment Day on June 5.
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