NEW DELHI – New Delhi, one of the most polluted capitals in the world, tested a water cannon on Wednesday to check air pollution – especially suspended particles that are harmful to health – in the city.
The local government carried out the test in eastern New Delhi’s Anand Vihar area, one of the city’s worst-polluted areas, where the air is toxic almost year round.
“We are checking the pollution levels before and after the trial, and if the pollution level decreases then we will think about it (acquiring the cannons),” Delhi’s environment minister, Imran Hussain, told reporters.
The Central Pollution Control Board said on Wednesday that in Anand Vihar the level of PM10 – smaller than 10 microns – particulate matter in the air was 653 per cubic meter, while PM2.5 levels reached 415.
If the PM10 concentration in the air is above 300 per cubic meter, it is considered toxic, according to the World Health Organization.
The environment minister said officials were also exploring other ways of dealing with air pollution in the Indian capital, such as greater regulation of the burning of garbage and leaves, emissions from vehicles and dust resulting from construction-related activity.
“The government is working and it will keep on working. The air has no boundaries. It is a problem of whole NCR (National Capital Region),” Hussain said.
Sushant Saini, head of Cloud Tech – the company behind the design and manufacture of the “anti-smog cannon” – told EFE that it “can be very helpful in reducing the air pollution and PM2.5 levels in Delhi.”
Saini said the cannon can be modified to suit the needs of the city and can be mounted on a truck with a water tank.
In a large city like Delhi, which is home to 17 million people, a more of this kind of equipment would be required, Saini said.
“With a 12,000-liter tank, it can cover an area of 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) in one hour. And (the cannons) can also be installed in some of the famous and important buildings of Delhi,” said the Cloud Tech head said.
The cannons will cost, depending on their size and power, between 1 million and 3 million rupees ($15,600 and $46,800), Saini said.
“Definitely, it will solve the problem of smog and pollution in Delhi. It will give relief to the people of Delhi,” Saini said.