With the inauguration of smog tower at Connaught Place in Delhi by the Chief Minister, Mr Arvind Kejriwal, India got its first smog tower and also big boost to its fight against air pollution. If the pilot project proves its worth, many such structures may follow soon in Delhi as well as in other polluted cities in the country.
The smog tower has 40 fans and 5,000 filters developed by experts at the University of Minnesota which also helped design a 100-metre-high smog tower in Xian, China. According to reports, the experimental tower in northern China has brought a noticeable improvement in air quality.
The 24-metre-high smog tower at Connaught Place, one of the biggest commercial centres in the capital, is based on a downdraft air-flow model. Its 40 huge fans will suck air from the top of a special type of canopy structure and release clean air filtered through novel geometry filters.
Since it’s a new technology, it is being implemented on an experimental basis. Tata Projects Limited (TPL) built the smog tower with technical support from IIT-Bombay and IIT-Delhi, which will analyse its data. NBCC India Ltd. is the project management consultant.
In November 2019, an expert panel estimated that the capital will need 213 such anti-smog towers.
A two-year pilot study will ascertain the effectiveness of the smog tower. A control room has been set up at the site to monitor its operations.