Delhi's Connaught Place to get a smog tower: What you need to know

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The Delhi Cabinet on Friday approved a proposal to install a smog tower in Connaught Place to deal with air pollution. The government has stationed Rs 20 crore, and the tower will come up in 10 months, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said, claiming that it will be the first of its kind in the world.

Following high pollution levels in the national capital, the Supreme Court had in November 2019 asked the Centre and the Delhi government to come up with a road map on installing smog towers in the national capital region (NCR) to combat air pollution.

Delhi’s first smog tower came up at Lajpat Nagar central market on January 3. Gautam Gambhir, former cricketer and BJP MP from East Delhi inaugurated a prototype air purifier at Lajpat Nagar. The 20-feet-tall tower is fitted with exhaust fans to suck in polluted air and can remove up to 80% of the particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM10) -- the primary pollutant in Delhi’s air.

Know everything about smog tower and how it works:

1. Smog towers are structures designed to work as large-scale air purifiers. They are usually fitted with multiple layers of air filters, which clean the air of pollutants as it passes through them.

2. The smog tower sucks the polluted air, which is purified by the multiple layers before re-circulated into the atmosphere. To purify the air; the highly effective H14 grade Highly Effective Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filter would be used. This filter can clean up to 99.99% Particulate Matter (PM) present in the air with the help of pre-filter and activated carbon.

3. The smog tower installed in Lajpat Nagar is cylindrical in design and built like a pole with a big inlet and four outlet units. The giant air purifier is fitted with exhaust fans to suck in polluted air with the help of a big inlet unit. It is painted in four colours – orange on the top, white in the middle, green colour just above the bottom and blue at the bottom. The tower will run on electricity.

4. The cost of each smog tower is to be around Rs 10 to 12 crore which includes filtering equipment, monitoring system and construction of the tower.

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