Finally, change is in the air of Bengaluru

Upcoming 500 air purifiers might act as the new lungs for the city that is grappling with increasing pollution.
Air purifier installed at Hudson cirlce in Bengaluru on Friday (Photo | EPS/ Vinod Kumar)
Air purifier installed at Hudson cirlce in Bengaluru on Friday (Photo | EPS/ Vinod Kumar)

BENGALURU : On Friday, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with aTechTron, a Bengaluru-based startup firm, to install 500 air purifiers in the city. This was decided after tasting success with the first installation at Hudson Circle. 

“The BBMP has decided to install these because there is no other way to control Bengaluru’s air pollution at present. The number of vehicles on city roads is not coming down. There are over 80 lakh vehicles in Bengaluru and a 10 per cent increase is reported annually. Though these purifiers will not reduce air pollution, they will minimise its levels in the atmosphere to some extent,” Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun said.

BBMP had set aside Rs 5 crore to install air purifiers. But with many companies coming forward, the corporation will get the air cleaned at zero cost. Officials said at least 25 companies had shown interest in installing air purifiers. Installation of each will cost around Rs 2.5 lakh, while the company under CSR will take one year to install 500 air purifiers. The MoU has been signed for a minimum period of 10 years. 

Rajeev Krishna, founder, aTechTron, said from the Hudson Circle purifier, around 750 gm of dust is cleaned every month. Tests have shown that it not just contains PM 10 and 2.5, but also heavy metals like lead, cadmium, chromium, calcium, zinc and petroleum fume products. One machine covers a radius of 70-90 sqft and helps reduce 40- 50 per cent air pollution in its vicinity. 

The air purifiers have been found essential for heavy traffic junctions where high vehicular movements are reported. It is also essential in places where traffic police officials are posted on duty, where they are stationed for around 12- 16 hours. Of the 500 to be installed, 100 will be in the first phase. One of them is already coming up at Manyata Tech park. The opinion of all government departments will be taken before installing the purifiers, Krishna added. 

City’s attempt at breathing fresh air

Manoj Kumar, member secretary of state pollution control board said installing air purifiers is one of the solutions. “All departments should collectively work on it, like scrapping 15-year-old vehicles, checking number of vehicles owned by a person and so on.  Also, real-time success of purifiers is not known. But at least some attempts are being made and they should be encouraged,” he said.

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