Chandigarh’s first smog tower will be installed on the pattern of Delhi. The idea of installation of such towers is yet to be explored in the city. A meeting was held recently on the implementation of directions issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). In its consequence, UT advisor Manoj Parida has asked officials of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) and environment department to make a comprehensive report on the subject. The UT will take a decision thereon. The giant air purifier will be installed to combat pollution in the city.
Why does Chandigarh need smog towers?
As per the Central government, Chandigarh is identified among 100 cities for pollution reduction. The list is prepared based on the level of pollutants. These are namely NO2, PM2.5, and PM10.
The aim is to create a “clean air zone” around the area. The experts who are involved in the project foresee an estimated eighty percent reduction in particulate matter.
Smog towers are the devices that can work as large-scale air purifiers, fitted with multiple layers of air filters.
Measures Adopted Till Date
Recently, the Centre also directed the city administration to submit details of steps taken to control air pollution up to December 31, 2019.
Chandigarh submitted the following action plan last year:
- Hybrid vehicles: Promoting electric vehicles, green buffers along the traffic corridors and introducing an intelligent traffic management system.
A team from the transport department had visited Nagpur to study the setting of charging stations two years ago. The first city in India to have these charging stations was Nagpur.
- Combat vehicle pollution: Launched extensive drive in contradiction of polluting automobiles.
- Road infrastructure: Set an action strategy to broaden roads and development of a structure for the decongestion of roads.
- Other initiatives: Synchronisation of road traffic signs, greening of open zones, and introducing water fountain at main traffic connections where viable through tertiary treated water.
Air Pollution Causes
In regards to the depleting air quality, the officials stated the following:
- Reasons: Demolition and construction waste and an increase in vehicular traffic.
- Traffic congestion: In ten years, there has been a sixty percent increase in the number of vehicles. Nonetheless, the length of roads remains the same. There is more than one hundred percent rise of light motor vehicles (LMVs), typically cars, in contrast to nearly forty-eight percent escalations in two-wheelers.
Chandigarh has a maximum density of vehicles in the country. There are approximately twelve lakh registered ones. These are together four and two-wheelers. On average, each house has two vehicles.
To cut down the effluence level, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) will invest in power-driven buses. At this time, roughly 3,000 e-rickshaws are plying on the streets.
- Other causes: Road dust re-suspension, horticulture waste, and stubble burning in the neighbouring states.
|Air Quality Index||Impact|
|0-50 | Good||Minimal impact|
|51-100 | Satisfactory||Minor breathing discomfort|
|101-200 | Moderate||Breathing discomfort to people with lungs, asthma and heart diseases|
|201-300 | Poor||Breathing discomfort to most people on prolonged exposure|
|301-400 | Very poor||Respiratory illness on prolonged exposure|
|401-500 | Severe||Affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases|
According to media reports, Chandigarh has between October to December 2019 been battling alarming toxic air quality, putting the city’s overall AQI in the “very poor” category.
Delhi’s first air purifying tower was procured by Gautam Gambhir Foundation and installed with the help of the Lajpat Nagar Traders Association. The tower is fitted at the Veer Savarkar Marg in Central Market, Lajpat Nagar. According to media reports, the smog tower has been fitted with exhaust fans. They will help in sucking polluted air and remove up to eighty percent particulate matters (PM 2.5 and PM 10 pollutants).
Height: The smog tower is 20-feet-tall. China has the world’s largest smog tower of over 328 feet height in Shanghai.
Design: The smog tower is a cylindrical structure with a big inlet and four outlet units.
Cost: The estimated cost of smog tower is ₹7 lakh.
The smog tower is expected to treat air within a circumference area of almost 500 metres to 750 metres. The air purifier will run on electricity.
News Source: Times of India
Image Source: Google Images