Delhi pollution
Clad in smog (Representational Image)IANS File Photo

In an attempt to combat the winter smog in the National Capital Region, the Haryana government has decided to install smog-eating towers in Gurugram and Faridabad. The Manohar Lal Khattar government is trying to emulate Beijing's model as it is well known as the Asia's smog-chimney.

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According to a report, Haryana has reportedly reached out to a Holland-based company to install the smog-eating towers in Gurugram and Faridabad. The two districts, along with New Delhi, are responsible for nearly one-fifth of air pollution in the region.

In October 2016, Beijing had installed smog-eating towers to improve degrading air quality. The seven metre-high air purifiers or smog-eating towers are the largest in the world and take in polluted air particles and expel cleaner air.

"Haryana surrounds most of the national capital from south, west and north side and it becomes our responsibility to share the burden of NCR's fight against deadly air pollution," Vipul Goel, Haryana Industry and Environment Minister, told Mail Today. "We are aggressively looking at a tech-enabled pollution free environs in Delhi's backyard in Faridabad and Gurugram to start with," he added.

Goel, who got to know about the positive impact that the smog-eating towers have had in Beijing, has got in touch with Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde, who is behind the clean-air project in an industrial park of the Chinese capital. The minister will soon visit Beijing with a team of experts to see the functioning of the smog-eating towers.

Functions and effects

  • This 23-foot tall air purifier manufactured by Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde contains three small in-built purifiers which sucks up smog like a vacuum from the top and then releases the filtered air through its six-sided vents.
  • By charging the Smog Free Tower with a small positive current, an electrode will send positive ions into the air. These ions will attach themselves to fine dust particles. A negatively charged surface - the counter electrode - will then draw the positive ions in, together with the fine dust particles. The fine dust that normally harms humans is collected together with the ions and stored inside of the tower. This technology manages to capture ultra-fine smog particles which regular filter systems fail to do
  • These air purifiers are effective within the radius of 300 metre to 7 km.
  • It can clean more than 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour and runs on 1,400 watts of green energy.
  • The units are movable and can be reinstalled to a different site
  • The fine carbon particles that the tower collects can be condensed to create tiny "gem stones" that can be embedded in jewellery pieces like rings and cufflinks. Each of the tiny stones is the equivalent of 1,000 cubic meters of air.

Goel, who is keen to get these purifiers installed before the winter this year, said that apart from these purifiers, Haryana will also adopt the conventional method of reducing air pollution by planting about 2.5 crore saplings in the current year.

However, a state government official, who chose to remain anonymous, told Mail Today that the final details of the purchase has not been declared yet. "We have not decided on the numbers yet, but at least 10-15 in Manesar-Gurugram area alone would be required to bring down smog levels thereafter and at least three to five in Faridabad at critical junctions would be adequate to start this tech-enabled fight against pollution in NCR," added the state government official.

Besides planning to install smog-eating towers and planting trees, the government is also trying to take into consideration different feasible options to deal with the crop burning by the farmers in Haryana and Punjab which adds on to the air pollution in the NCR.