Delhi inaugurates this Monday, August 23, its first tower supposed to fight against smog; dense pollution which is the result of a mixture of atmospheric pollutants consisting mainly of fine particles and ozone. Smog is associated with several harmful effects on health and the environment.
Delhi has its first "smog tower" , which aims to help fight air pollution in the city's hot spots. Environment Minister Gopal Rai said last Thursday that the structure, with a height of more than 20 meters, will be able to purify the air within a radius of 1 km, at the rate of 1,000 cubic meters of air. per second and thus provide the population with a place where it will be possible to breathe. Every year, the people of New Delhi suffocate. At the start of the winter season, the air in the city turns into a toxic mixture of fumes from surrounding agricultural fires, exhaust fumes and industrial emissions, trapped above the city by the cooler temperatures and weak winds.
Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be in charge of the inauguration. "Based on the results obtained during its operation, we will make a decision on installing additional equipment," he said. Subsequently, a group of experts will have to ensure the safety of this tower, the construction of which has been delayed due to the Covid pandemic. "A two-year pilot study will be undertaken to ensure the effectiveness of the smog tower once it is commissioned," said an official. A control room has been set up on site to monitor tower operations. The objective being to determine the effectiveness and the appropriateness of such a building. And if the results are conclusive, the Indian government wants to build more.
In addition, another 25-meter-high tower, built by the central government of Anand Vihar, is expected to become operational by August 31, officials of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said. A project that cost two million dollars and which will also filter the air over an area of one square kilometer, in the upscale shops and cafes of Connaught Place. Here also, regularly, this relatively chic district which counts many colonial buildings suffocates under a thick fog of pollution. The Indian authorities have tried other solutions, such as trying to halve the number of vehicles in circulation. But nothing helps.
For many experts, this initiative will not change anything and only gives the "impression" that the authorities are acting.
According to Sunil Dahiya, of the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air: " building towers against smog has never been, and never will be, a solution " and who hastens to add: "if the 'we really want to settle pollution, we have to tackle it at the source. " And the source of the problem is once again coal. One of the major causes of global warming. Indeed, Sunil Dahiya said that the tower would be connected to the general network, itself supplied 70% by coal-fired power stations!
So, as he rightly pointed out, this tower "will only add pollution elsewhere in the country."
India is not the first country to build such a tower. China, the world's largest polluter, also in 2018 completed a similar project with a 60-meter-high tower in the heart of the city of Xian, supposed to purify the air. However, the approach has not been repeated elsewhere in the country.