DMPQ-Discuss the significant of installing smog towers to fight against Air Pollution. Also mention the challenges associated with them.

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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