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Delhi's Giant Air Freshner


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From The Times March 16, 2010

Delhi officials unveil giant public air freshener to scrub atmosphere clean

Officials in Delhi have unveiled a radical solution to tackle the increasingly noxious smog hanging over the city: a giant public air freshener that scrubs the atmosphere clean.

The seven-tonne Systemlife Citta costs about 25 million rupees (£357,000). It sucks in 10,000 cubic metres of dirty air an hour, subjects it to a filtering process, and then emits clean air.

Delhi officials say that more of the machines will be bought if the current one, installed at one of Delhis busiest traffic junctions as part of a pilot project, proves a success. We will evaluate its efficacy after three months, P.K. Sharma, health chief of the New Delhi Municipal Council, told The Times. If it works, we will buy more.

Delhi is the second dirtiest city in the world in terms of the amount of particulate matter in the atmosphere, according to the World Bank.

A brown haze often lingers over the Indian capital a smudgy cloud linked by analysts to increasing rates of asthma.

Only in Cairo is the air grimier. Another Indian city, Calcutta, is in third place.

Globally, air pollution claims about two million lives a year, according to the World Health Organisation.

Athletes due to compete in Delhi in the Commonwealth games, which will begin in October, are being advised to arrive in the city at the last possible moment, to minimise the risk to their respiratory systems.

Those who live there are at risk of breathing progressively dirtier air as India becomes more affluent. By 2030 the number of vehicles on the countrys already congested roads is expected to rise sevenfold to about 380 million vehicles.

In the same period greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase fourfold, to 6.5 billion tonnes a year, according to McKinsey, the business consultants.

Environmentalists have criticised the Indian Government for not supporting public transport to cut traffic congestion and pollution levels.

The Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment claims that more than half of Indias cities are fogged by critical levels of pollution.

It has condemned the Governments support of factories that build small cheap cars, pointing out that personal vehicles cars and two-wheelers use up more than 75 per cent of the road space in Delhi but meet only 20 per cent of the citys commuting demand.

Our cities dont need more cars, it said in a recent report. "They need better public transport."

Edited by dalsingh101
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