Daily News Analysis

Smog tower   

9th September, 2021 Environment


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  • Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav inaugurated the first functional smog tower in India at Anand Vihar in Delhi.


More about news:

  • It is of downdraft type — polluted air comes in from the top of the tower and clean air comes out of the bottom — and is intended for localised reduction in particulate matter.
  • The filtration system used in the tower has been designed by the University of Minnesota with an expected efficiency of 90 per cent.
  • Forty fan units have been installed to provide a design airflow rate of 1,000 m3/sec.
  • The tower has been built by Tata Projects Limited with NBCC (India) Ltd as the project management consultant.



  • Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution or ‘Prana’, in non-attainment cities (NAC) — those which failed to meet national air quality standards over a five-year period — under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
  • The environment ministry and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have a target to achieve 20-30 per cent reduction in particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) concentrations across the country by 2024.
  • The portal will support tracking of physical as well as financial status of city air action plan implementation, and disseminate information on air quality to the public.

What is a ‘smog tower’?

  • A smog tower is a structure designed to work as a large-scale air purifier, fitted with multiple layers of filters, which trap fine dust particles suspended in the air as it passes through them.
  • Air is drawn through fans installed at the top of the tower, passed through filters, and then released near the ground.
  • The large-scale filters expected to be installed in the towers in Delhi would use carbon nanofibres as a major component, and would be fitted along the peripheries of the towers, project experts had said, adding that the height of the towers would be 20 meters.


How effective are smog towers?

  • Towers would create “clean air zones” in the city. An estimate made of their impact on air quality shows a tower would reduce 50% of the particulate matter load.
  • These smog towers may not be useful for the whole city, but they can be useful in creating ‘clean air area’ zones in different parts of the city.

How does it work?