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NEW DELHI :

Environment Minister Bhupinder Yadav on Tuesday launched an experimental smog tower on the occasion of International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies and a portal, “Prana" that will give details of the progress of the national clean air programme.  

Speaking at the event the minister said that out of 132 cities that do not meet the clean air standards, 86 had shown improvement in air quality parameters in 2018, which increased to 104 cities in 2020.  

The installation of the smog tower comes against the backdrop of a Supreme Court directive to the government to explore the possibility of installing the giant air filters to improve the air quality standards in the national capital region.  

The smog tower has been developed by teams from IIT Delhi and Mumbai and will be used experimentally for two years before deciding on whether the technology can be scaled up. It is effective within 1km radius, according to a person familiar with the matter.  

India launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in 2019. It aims to achieve a 20%-30% reduction in PM 2.5 (respirable particulate matter) concentrations over 2017 levels in over a hundred cities across the country by 2024. 

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