Particulate matter Current Affairs - 2020

SC issues order on completion of “Smog Tower Project” within 3 months

On December 16, 2019, the Supreme Court of India ordered the Centre and the Delhi Governments to hasten the pilot project of setting up smog towers at Connaught place.

Smog Towers

Smog Towers are air purification structures that are designed to work as air purifiers. They are fitted with multiple air purifiers. These purifiers cleanses air as it passes through them. It is a successful project and China has fitted two smog towers in the city of Beijing and Xi’an. The tower is being developed in Delhi by Kurin systems called the “Kurin Cleaners”

About the towers

The purifiers will be 20-feet wide and 40-feet tall. They will have the capacity to clean 32 million cubic metres of air in a day. A single tower will cover 3-km radius and is said have impacts on 75,000 lives of Delhiites.

The Kurin cleaner will remove PM 10 and PM 2.5 upto 99.99%. It will run on solar energy. As many as 48 fans will be fitted to these towers to maintain air flow. The towers will also be attached with solar heating and cooling techniques.

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Quick Facts: Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) of Gujarat

The Gujarat government has launched country’s first ‘Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)’ which is being described as world’s first market for trading in Particulate Matter (PM) emissions. ETS was launched in Surat ETS) to encourage and incentivize the industrial units to cut air pollution.

Even though trading mechanisms for pollution control do exist in many parts of world but none of them is for PM emissions.

What is Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)?

It is a regulatory tool that is aimed at reducing the pollution load in an area and at the same time minimising the cost of compliance for the industry. ETS is a market in which traded commodity is particulate matter emissions.

The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) sets a cap on total emission load from all industries. Thereby, various industries can buy and sell the ability to emit particulate matter, by trading permits (in kilograms) under this cap and for this reason ETS is also called as a cap-and-trade market.

Functioning of ETS: Under the cap-and-trade market, the GPCB will first define the total mass of pollution that can be released into air over a certain fixed period by all industrial units or factories collectively. This will be equivalent to the cap (or limit) and the permits would then become units which could be bought and sold between traders under the ETS.

Why launched in Surat? Since Surat is a densely-populated industrial centre and textiles and dyeing houses there produce heavy air pollution. Also, industries in Surat had already installed Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems that makes it possible to estimate the mass of PM being released.

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