Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will inaugurate the capital’s first smog tower at Cannaught Place on August 23, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Thursday.
The over 20-metre-tall structure, being set up to improve air quality in a radius of around 1 km, will “operate at full capacity” after the monsoon season, the minister told reporters.
“Chief Minister Arvid Kejriwal will inaugurate the smog tower on August 23. Thereafter, experts will ascertain its impact on pollution.
Based on the results, we will take a decision on installing more equipment,” he said.
Rai had earlier said the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the construction work of the smog tower.
The Delhi cabinet had approved the pilot project in October last year.
The smog tower will be able to purify 1,000 cubic metres of air per second, according to Rai.
A two-year pilot study will be undertaken to ascertain the effectiveness of the smog tower after it becomes operational, an official said.
A control room has been set up at the site to monitor the operations of the smog tower.
Another 25-metre-tall smog tower, built by the central government at Anand Vihar, is expected to become operational by August 31, officials of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said.
Tata Projects Limited (TPL) is building the two smog towers with technical support from IIT-Bombay, which, in collaboration with IIT-Delhi, will validate their performance.
NBCC India Ltd. has been appointed as a project management consultant.
The CPCB is the nodal agency for the tower at Anand Vihar, while the Delhi Pollution Control Committee is the nodal agency for the one coming up at Cannaught Place.
The two towers will have 1,200 air filters each developed by experts at the University of Minnesota in the United States which also helped design a 100-metre-high smog tower in Xian, China.
The smog towers, being built at a cost of Rs 22 crore each, are estimated to reduce the concentration of PM2.5 up to 70 per cent in a 1-km radius around them.
The Supreme Court had in January last year directed the central government to construct a smog tower to reduce pollution at Anand Vihar, and the Delhi government to install another such structure at Connaught Place in three months.
In August, the apex court had reprimanded the Centre and the state government for missing the deadline for completing the construction of two smog towers.