Smog towers and anti-smog gun might soon be installed in Delhi with the Supreme Court on Monday asking the Centre to come out with a decision, within 10 days, on these in the Delhi-NCR region to combat the growing menace of air pollution, a health threat shortening the life span of millions.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said: "The Centre should come with a roadmap on smog towers within 10 days, as Delhi is one of the most polluted in the country."
The bench observed the life span of millions of citizens has already been shortened due to pollution, which has potentially become a perennial problem, and people are actually suffocating in Delhi-NCR.
A smog tower is a large vertical structure designed as large-scale air purifier to reduce air pollution particles. The anti-smog gun is a cannon shaped device that sprays atomised water droplets in the air. The gun is attached to a water tank built on a movable vehicle, which can be taken to various parts of the city.
"Delhi government to use and acquire these anti-smog guns. Let Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) also submit a report on the use of these guns," said the court.
The smog tower shot to fame as an air purifying tower, the size of a small skyscraper, built in China's Xi'an city. It is considered as a technological route to clean air off the pollutants, having an impact on large area. Lately, this technology has come under scepticism, as there isn't ample hard data to support the claim. The Centre has, though, expressed strong views on the success of these air purifying units.
The top court also junked an intervention application by a Delhi-based doctor, who doubts the efficiency of these towers in the backdrop of limited research data.
"Why you want to oppose it. Take a decision after looking at it. Do not oppose it," the court said.
Justice Mishra said an expert from the Indian Institution of Technology will assist the CPCB, and a high-level committee shall be formed to identify technologies with a specific focus on combating air pollution. The court sought a report from this committee within three weeks.
The top court pulled up the Delhi government saying that the politicisation of issues of air pollution is not right in the civilised world. It asked the Delhi government to hold accountable officers from top to bottom on the issues connected with pollution.