A Delhi-based doctor Kaushal Kant Mishra who is an intervening applicant in the case raised questions on the efficacy of Smog Tower case, soon after the government report submissions on the smog tower project completion in another ten months before Justice Arun Mishra led bench.
The Smog Tower Case
Through Advocate Senthil Jagadeesan, Mishra in his additional affidavit before the Court stated that smog towers have no scientific basis to claim that it can tackle rising pollution and that it may prove to be counterproductive because it will provide citizens with “a false sense of complacency and assurance.”
New Smog Tower in Anand Vihar
The Court on 13 January had said that within three months smog towers should be installed at Anand Vihar.
The Solicitor General Mehta was asked by the Court to appraise the time frame and the workings for the installation of the smog tower on August 10.
The Centre expressed about a memorandum of understanding (MoU) being prepared for the installation of smog tower on July 30, and that it would be signed by the stakeholders soon.
The Affidavit in the Smog Tower Case
Dr Mishra expressed that past experiences of smog towers in the city have not been positive.
The affidavit talks about the smog tower which had come at an installing cost of 7 lakh in the Lajpat Nagar Area in Delhi by the Trader’s Association, Lajpat Nagar with the Gautam Gambhir Foundation in January 2020. The tower aimed to treat and purify 2, 50,000 to 6,00000 cubic meter air per day.
However, Dr Mishra puts forth that at least 25 lakh such towers will be required after the research and reports made estimating to tackle the rising air pollution levels in India. Air pollution experts have more discouragingly also found that even in its immediate vicinity, the tower is not helping reduce pollution by even marginal amounts.
Further, Dr Mishra’s affidavit avers that measures such as smog towers which have little to no lasting impact on reducing air pollution levels are seen as “band-aid fixes.”
“The emphasis of this Hon’ble Court on any mitigation strategy should be on finding a cure for the issues faced by residents of Delhi, rather than just treating the symptoms.”The Affidavit
The Delhi-based doctor also conveys that scientists and experts have highlighted that unlike other cities smog towers are not suitable to Delhi’s meteorological conditions, as “Delhi does not have smog, but rather fog combined with a high amount of dust particles.”
The additional affidavit states that it will make way into foreign hands, including that of Chinese citizens, if a huge share of the money is being spent on the project.
“It may be worthwhile to note that this same technology which has seen Chinese companies be cautious about is now sought to be diverted to India. This country cannot be a dumping ground for that which has failed elsewhere.”Kaushal Kant Mishra