Fact Check

Delhi gets a smog tower, but Kejriwal’s ‘India’s first’ claim is wrong

Even before the turbines absorbed pollutants in Delhi's air, the Aam Aadmi Party's boasts about their ground-breaking pollution tower project in Delhi appeared to be losing steam

Even before the turbines absorbed pollutants in Delhi’s air, the Aam Aadmi Party’s boasts about their ground-breaking pollution tower project in Delhi appeared to be losing steam.

Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi Chief Minister, launched the country’s first pollution tower at Connaught Place on Monday. The 24 meter-high tower can release 1000 cubic meters of clean air every second and can supply clean air for up to a kilometer.

According to Kejriwal, “Delhi now boasts the country’s first smog tower to combat pollution. This is the first time that this technique has been used. No such tower has ever been built in the country, and no such attempt to purify the air has ever been made.”

Kejriwal was not exactly accurate, it turns out.

With the aid of east Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir, the merchants association built a pollution tower at Lajpat Nagar central market in January 2020.

Around 600,000 cubic meters of air are treated everyday by the pollution tower at Lajpat Nagar. Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 and PM 10 are said to be collected in 75% of the time.

This discrepancy in assertions was quickly picked up by many social media users.

The project’s budget has been authorized by the Delhi government at Rs 20 crore. However, experts disagree on the feasibility and use of creating such towers given the severity of Delhi’s pollution.

Year after year, the national capital is engulfed in thick haze, owing to crop burning in neighboring states and traffic pollution.

Hundreds of people have died prematurely as a result of the pollution, and many more are suffering from respiratory problems.

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