ANI Photo | Smog towers not operational in Delhi over payments issue: Delhi Minister Gopal Rai

As the air quality in the National Capital continues to deteriorate, the smog tower which was inaugurated in 2021 at a cost of Rs 20 crores in Connaught Place is locked up and not operational.
The air quality in the national capital turned ‘severe’ on Friday morning with Mundka recording the highest Air Quality Index (498).
As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI in the Lodhi Road area was recorded at 438, in Jahangirpuri at 491, in the RK Puram area and in IGI Airport (T3) at 486 and 473 respectively.
On being asked about the smog towers in Delhi, Environment Minister Gopal Rai told ANI, “There are two smog towers in Delhi. One is in Anand Vihar, which is run by the central government, while the other is in Connaught Place, which is operated by the Delhi government. Delhi Pollution Control Committee chairman Ashwani Kumar joined in December. His payment has been stopped by IIT Bombay, and for the past 8 months, the smog tower has been closed. We are tired of saying it again and again, but he’s not ready to open it. Though it is the decision of the cabinet and it’s the order of the Supreme Court and still, they have closed it.”
Gopal Rai further said “These conditions are against us, but in these conditions, if other states like Haryana and UP would have been active like Delhi, then the situation could improve.”
Congress MP Pramod Tiwari said, “The Centre’s BJP government and Delhi’s AAP government are responsible for compelling the people of Delhi to breathe polluted air. It has become difficult to breathe. Earlier, AAP used to say that there is a Congress government in Punjab. Now there is your government in Punjab. You should give an answer for this. Why you did not take measures on time?”
There was a thick haze blanketing the skyline of the national capital and adjoining areas as the Air Quality Index (AQI) breached the 400 mark at multiple locations

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