In its latest effort to combat dense smog that shrouds Delhi every winter, the Aam Admi Party government today begin day-long gun trials of an anti-smog gun in Anand Vihar. The air quality in this area is perpetually ''severe'' and the air quality index (AQI) reading showed a reading of 413 on this morning.
The trial run is being carried out by the Environment Department and Delhi Pollution Control Committee in presence of state environment minister Imran Hussain.
The Anti-smog gun is a device that sprays atomised water into the atmosphere to reduce air pollution. Connected to a water tank and mounted on a vehicle, the device could be taken across the city to spray water to settle dust and other suspended particles.
The device, costing around Rs20 lakh, can spray water up to a height of 50 metres, Sushant Saini, an executive of the manufacturer Cloud Tech, told IANS.
The device was earlier tested at the Delhi secretariat. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and environment minister Hussain were present during Monday's test at the secretariat. But officials say more testing is required before a call can be taken on the use of the device.
According to The Indian Express, a similar machine is used in China. ''This move is inspired by the Chinese water cannons that were used by the authorities there with some success. The idea is that it reduces air pollution by binding dust and other particulate matter, and bringing it down to ground level. This could be of use in an arid place like Delhi,'' sources told the paper, adding that the plan has been made looking at the three major sources of pollution – transport, industry, and road dust and fugitive emissions.
If it gets a green signal from the government, the anti-smog gun will be one of the several key measures taken by the Arvind Kejriwal to combat pollution in the national capital, which was tagged a "gas chamber" last month after a lethal grey haze hung over the city for days. The pollution levels threatened to go off the charts and the doctors declared it a public health emergency.
As the Delhi government alleged the stubble burning by Punjab farmers for the haze, the courts pulled it up, demanding immediate action.
The government announced several plans, which included the reintroduction of the odd-even road rationing scheme that would allow no exception, a ban on most commercial trucks, stopping of construction activities and a four-fold hike in car parking charges.
Last week, the Supreme Court cleared a comprehensive action plan for the northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana, which involved more air pollution monitors, fast-track construction of expressways, better bus service and 486 more coaches for the Delhi Metro.