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Clean air is the new offering at the capital's top luxury hotels -- and guess what, it will be without a charge. The next time you enter the capital's popular five-star hotel, ITC Maurya, you will notice a plaque showing the real-time PM2.5 level (pollutants in the air) inside and outside the hotel. The air cleaning system at the hotel, including the 438 rooms, will become operational around Christmas.
Taj Diplomatic Enclave, its neighbour, has also placed natural oxygen emitters and air purifiers. The hotel has also reduced the use of diesel generators. The Oberoi Delhi, ready to re-open next month after a seven-quarter long renovation, said the renovated property is also equipped with state of the art clean air technology which promises air quality on par with global standards. The capital has been facing an increase in pollution level in the last couple of years. The city's PM2.5 level has breached the prescribed standards by several times.
ITC Hotels' general manager (technical and sustainability) H C Vinayaka said the quality of indoor air at ITC Maurya will be meeting WHO standards, which is fifty per cent better compared to the Indian standards (60 micrograms per m3 for PM2.5). "Indian standard is good but since we have an international clientele we decided to go for even stringent norms," he said. Vinayaka did not share the investment details for this project.
But the air cleaning facilities is estimated to have been set up for about Rs 12 crore and it will require another Rs 2-3 crore to maintain and operate the facilities. The data of air quality on ITC Maurya's monitor will be validated by third-party auditors.
ITC Hotels plans to execute the clean air project in its four more hotels of North India- Sheraton (New Delhi), ITC Grand Bharat (near Gurgaon), ITC Mughal (Agra) and ITC Rajputana (Jaipur)- by next December. Investment of another Rs 40 crore might go into these projects. Vinayaka said the project has been executed by Camfil, a Stockholm headquartered company.
Camfil's approach would be two-pronged - first to upgrade the existing air handling units with Camfil with a special mounting mechanism to ensure perfect sealing to avoid outdoor air leaking into these units. In addition to this, Camfil's patented technology air cleaners would be installed in each of these air handling unit rooms to further clean the air. The standalone air cleaners will do a two-stage filtration that will also remove 99.95 per cent of more dangerous ultra-fine particles besides PM2.5 filtration.
Travellers, especially those coming from overseas, are increasingly concerned about the air quality in the city. All our properties across the country follow stringent pollution control measures, which have further been strengthened given the current situation in the National Capital, said Gaurav Pokhariyal, area director (Delhi Hotels) and general manager at Taj Diplomatic Enclave. "The indoor air quality at Taj Diplomatic Enclave during the heavy smog or pollution level was within permissible limit of 70-80 microgram per cubic metre. However, the hotels are committed to reduce it further and bring it to the level of WHO recommendation", he added.