Uttar Pradesh’s first 20-meter tall anti-smog tower became operational on November 17, 2021. This tower will cover an area of one square kilometre and help mitigate air pollution during the winter season. It is to be noted that Noida recorded an Air Quality Index reading of 345, considered 'very poor' on the very day.
Built on a green belt area of 400 square metres along the DND Flyway, the anti-smog tower will work at a filtration rate (the capacity of the tower to clean air per cubic metre) of 80,000 cubic metres per hour. The tower will help clean pollutants in the air of Noida Sector 15, 15A, 16, 16A,17, and 19, among others. Moreover, the installation of the tower will be beneficial for thousands of commuters who travel along the DND Flyway and the Delhi-Noida Expressway link road.
Equipped with intake and exhaust fans, initially, the tower will run with the help of electricity. However, the authority plans to run the tower with the help of solar energy later.
CitySpidey reached out to the residents of Noida. Rajiva Singh, president of NOFAA says, “Smog tower will have a very small impact on the level of pollution in the area, but nevertheless, it is a step forward. We need several of these to make some sizable impact.”
Singh added, “Action needs to be taken as soon as possible on the roadside dust, bad roads, construction, and digging. Grass needs to be planted in all barren lands and along roads. Though gas usage has increased in industries, there are still several industries causing pollution. In addition, issues such as the burning of garbage and stubble burning by farmers also need to be addressed.”
Pollution has choked Delhi NCR. Farm fire PM2.5 has reached its peak at 48% and Air Quality Index (AQI) has crossed 400. In this scenario, this first smog tower in UP (Noida) Sector-16 is a step in the right direction. It is going to cover sectors in the vicinity like 18, 17, 17A, 16,16A 15, 14, and the initial part of DND.
Rajesh Sahay, General Secretary of NOFAA and a resident of Noida Sector 50 says, "This smog tower will definitely benefit Noida residents of above sectors. Smog tower mainly sucks polluted air from its base and releases fresh air from the top. However, the cost of installation of 4 crores and maintenance of 37 lacs per year are very costly. We have to address the root cause. Actually, this is a human-generated problem. Puddle burning, pollution generated by traffic, dust generated by construction activities are the main contributors to the foul air."
Vikrant Tongad, an environment enthusiast from Noida has a different take on the development. Says he, “This smog tower is a waste of money. Around the area it is being installed, there is no housing society or residential area. Smog tower has no benefits. The smog tower was made on the green belt, which is another issue which needs to be addressed.”
He added, “The roadside dust needs to be cleaned, industrial waste needs proper dumping, a shift towards electric vehicles is needed. Authority should take care of these things first.”