With much excitement, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal opened the facility in August 2021.
The ₹23 crore smog tower in Delhi’s Connaught Place, which was ceremoniously opened by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in August 2021 with great fanfare, has vanished under the “severe” air pollution that the capital and its surrounding areas are experiencing.
Visuals by news agency ANI on Friday showed the tower, now non-functional, behind locked gates.
#WATCH | Delhi's "Smog Tower" at Connaught Place is locked up and not operational. It was inaugurated in 2021 at a cost of around Rs 20 Crores.
The air quality in Delhi is in 'Severe' category today as per CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board). pic.twitter.com/2FZlp9jZ88
— ANI (@ANI) November 3, 2023
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) may have recommended the smog tower’s closure in a letter to the environment ministry of the Delhi government in October. The letter noted that the DPCC’s two-year evaluation of the facility had shown that the reduction in particulate matter was only approximately 12–13% at a distance of 100 meters from the tower.
The site should be upgraded to be used as an environmental and climate change innovation centre, the DPCC further stated.
Also, the facility has been lying defect for the past seven months.
On Friday, citizens of the nation’s capital awoke to a dense blanket of haze once more; the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reports that the city’s air quality index (AQI) has declined to “severe.” The National Capital Region (NCR), which includes Delhi, has already implemented limits. The Delhi government announced on Thursday the closure of all elementary schools for Friday and Saturday.