ANI Photo | DPCC points Delhi Govt’s indecisiveness on smog tower ineffectiveness in a report to NGT

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) in its report has informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that the ineffectiveness of the smog tower has been communicated to the Government of NCT of Delhi, but no concrete decision on the matter was taken.
According to the DPCC, the report submitted by IIT-Bombay has been examined and based on DPCC’s own assessment, air quality monitored by real-time ambient air quality stations located nearby to the two installed Smog Towers in Delhi ie. at Anand Vihar and Connaught Place, have revealed that the smog towers have not been effective in curbing the air pollution.
As per the report, in case a 17 per cent reduction in a 100 m radius is to be considered favourable, Delhi needs more than 40,000 such towers to cover its geographic area.
“This cannot be a practical solution and the result of the experiment should be accepted the Smog Tower already erected may be used for dissemination of the technical information about the control of air pollution as a museum,” stated the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
The DPCC further stated that it has been found that the efficacy of the Smog Vower has not impacted the air quality.
“Atmospheric air pollution does not have any boundaries. The air shed of Delhi is not limited to the boundaries of Delhi State. Delhi is surrounded by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Delhi has an area of 1,483 sq. km. Its maximum length is 51.90 km and its greatest width is 48.48 km. 10 to 17 per cent reduction in a 100 m radius ie 0.0314 Sa km per tower that too at the capital cost of rupees 25 crores with a recurring cost of 10 to 15 lakh per month per Smog Tower is not at all justified. It is not even a drop in an ocean,” stated DPCC.
The National Green Tribunal on Friday pulled up various states where the Air Quality Index (AQI) has dipped to severe, very poor and poor categories and said the action taken reports filed by them do not disclose what action has been taken for improvement of air quality.
“We expected some improvement after the first order but we didn’t find any,” said NGT.
The Tribunal earlier issued notice to Chief Secretaries of various states including Delhi and directed them to take immediate remedial action and submit the action taken report before the Tribunal, including Delhi.
During the hearing, the Tribunal said that some improvement was anticipated after the first order but it didn’t find any. Most of the details in the action taken report are only up to October when the situation was not so bad.
On the last date of the hearing, the Tribunal observed that immediate action was required.
“Serious conditions are reflected in various cities in the air quality bulletins. Hence, immediate action is required for the prevention and control of air pollution in these cities so as to ensure better air quality for the residents,” the Tribal noted during the hearing.
Noting the seriousness of the issue, NGT has impleaded the Chief Secretaries of the concerned States, Chairman, Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), Member Secretary, CPCB, and National Task Force through its head secretary, MoEF&CC, as parties in the case and sought their responses and directed them to take remedial action and submit an action taken report reflecting compliance of directions issued by the Tribunal from time to time in this regard

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