Delhi: Smog tower construction delayed by Covid-19, will be ready by Aug 15, says Gopal Rai

Rai surveyed the construction site on Thursday where work on the 25-metre high tower is underway.

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai Thursday said construction of a smog tower at Connaught Place had slowed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will now be completed by August 15.

Rai surveyed the construction site on Thursday where work on the 25-metre high tower is underway.

He said, “The country’s first smog tower is being set up here as a pilot project by the Delhi government. We surveyed the site today. Because of Covid-19, the work had slowed down and it should be sped up now. If this pilot project is successful, more such towers will be set up in Delhi.”

Rai added that the tower will be made functional by August 15 and its performance will be monitored by experts, based on which further plans will be made.

The Delhi government is funding the construction of the tower, which is being built on directions of the Supreme Court at a budget of Rs 20 crore by Tata Projects Limited.

IIT-Bombay is providing technical support to the project in collaboration with IIT-Delhi, and the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) is the project management consultant.

Another such tower is being set up at east Delhi’s Anand Vihar on the same budget, funded by the Central government, with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) as its nodal agency.

Both towers were earlier supposed to be built by June but have suffered delays. Delhi government officials had earlier told The Indian Express that the two towers would use 1,200 air filters each, developed by a team of experts at the University of Minnesota in the United States — which also helped design a 100-metre high smog tower in Xian, China.

The towers are estimated to reduce concentration of particulate matter of 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) — fine particles suspended in the air — by 50% to 70% in about one kilometre radius around them, officials said.

Each tower would have 40 fans and 40 noise control devices and would cover an area of 28 square metres. Air would be pulled in from the top of the towers, passed through the filters and released at the bottom, officials added.

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