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What is a smog tower?

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.



The smog towers are being installed in Delhi on the lines of China, which has experimented with this technology in its capital Beijing and other cities.

  • The Delhi government will study the impact of smog towers on pollution and could add more such structures across the national capital.


What is a smog tower?

  • Smog towers are structures designed to work as large-scale air purifiers. They are fitted with multiple layers of air filters and fans at the base to suck the air.
  • After the polluted air enters the smog tower, it is purified by the multiple layers before being re-circulated into the atmosphere.

current affairs


Need for:

Delhi was the most polluted capital city in the world in 2020 for the third consecutive year, according to a report by a Swiss group (released in March this year) that ranked cities based on their air quality measured in terms of the levels of ultrafine particulate matter (PM 2.5) that can enter the organs and cause lasting damage.



Following high pollution levels in the national capital, the Supreme Court had in November 2019 asked the Centre and the Delhi government to come up with a road map on installing smog towers in the national capital region (NCR) to combat air pollution.


Reasons behind high pollution levels?

  1. Construction work, industrial and vehicular pollution — in and around the city.
  2. The situation is aggravated at the start of winter by smoke from stubble-burning in northwestern states, coupled with unfavourable meteorological conditions, such as calm winds, low temperatures, and fewer sunny days.


Measures taken to control pollution:

  1. Persuading farmers in Punjab and Haryana to use mechanical alternatives to stubble-burning.
  2. Closure of thermal power stations in Delhi.
  3. Making industries use piped natural gas.
  4. Control measures taken under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) when pollution levels spike.


Insta Curious:

Do you also know about Anti Smog guns which are Installed at various places in Delhi? How do they work? Reference



Prelims Link:

  1. About the National Clean Air Programme.
  2. Who releases the national air quality index?
  3. Composition and functions of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  4. What is natural gas?
  5. Overview of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

Mains Link:

Discuss the measures needed to reduce pollution levels in the National Capital.

Sources: the Hindu.