October 26, 2021 - 9:26 am

 A Sigh of Relief

India comes ahead with smog towers against rising pollutions faced especially by metro cities. These efforts signify how governments are taking cognizance of air pollution. 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.


According to the World Health Organisation, India has 6 of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world with Delhi on the top of the list. A 2020 study in the Lancet found that there were 1.67 million deaths in India attributable to air pollution in 2019, including 17,500 in Delhi. Smog Towers seem to relieve people from pollution up to some extent. It may provide immediate relief from air pollution in a small area. It could have an impact on the air quality up to 1 km from the tower. Experts have said that the towers would create "clean air zone" in the city. A tower would produce 50% of the particulate matter load. Moreover, the government must take measures to control pollution like subsidy to farmers for buying Turbo Happy Seeder(THS) in order to reduce stubble burning, push for electric vehicles(EVs), use of green crackers, effective implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan(GRAP) and development of the national Air Quality Index(AQI) for public information under the aegis of the CPCB.

However, the actual impact will be assessed by IIT-Bombay and IIT-Delhi in a two-year pilot study that will also determine how the tower functions under different weather conditions and how levels of PM 2.5 vary with the flow of air. Since, there is no scientific evidence that proves its efficiency government should instead address root causes and promote renewable energy to tackle air pollution and reduce emissions.