Two new smog towers have been recently inaugurated in Delhi. Bengaluru and Chandigarh also installed smog towers this year. Mumbai’s clean air plan indicates a financial requirement of ₹25 crore for installing air filtration units at major traffic intersections in the city.
Benefits of Smog Towers
- The Delhi government claims that the newly installed smog tower in Connaught Place could reduce air pollution levels by 80%.
- But there is no scientific evidence of smog towers or any other outdoor air filtration units improving air quality in cities.
- The smog tower installed in China’s Xi’an and another one installed in Beijing did not prove to be effective and were not scaled up.
- Smog towers create an illusion of progress towards clean air while diverting public money away from proven solutions.
- The data on the effectiveness of the newly installed smog towers should be made available publicly for independent evaluation.
Concerns / Challenges
- Of the 132 cities in the country that currently don’t meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 75 do not have a single real-time monitoring station.
- Until last year, over 75% of our city clean air plans did not contain vital information on emissions from different polluting sources.
- In a recent study, it was found that nearly half the urban slum households in six States still rely on biomass and other polluting fuels for their cooking needs.
- Household emissions increase during winter that increases exposure to indoor air pollution and poses health risks.
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