Govt proposes air purifiers on elevated corridor

The elevated corridor route in KH Road in Bengaluru. DH Photo by S K Dinesh

The state government has tried to push the Elevated Corridor project by citing it as a panacea for a host of traffic-related problems. Now, the government is dangling the hope of pollutant-free air to placate activists, who feel the controversial project will only worsen the air pollution.

Proposing to cleanse the air of pollutants, the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), the project proponent, has agreed to install open-air purifiers and carbon-absorbing machines, which are part of  the conditions laid down by the State Level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) while giving NoC for the project.

KS Krishna Reddy, Secretary, PWD and former Managing Director of KRDL, said that air purifiers and carbon-absorbing machines will be installed at vulnerable junctions along the proposed 102-km corridor.

“The machines will be installed during both the pre-construction and post-construction period to check the pollution levels,” he said.

“These are not the regular air purifiers or carbon-absorbing machines, but they are of high capacity and advanced machines that will absorb SPM and other major pollutants present in the air. These machines will be much stronger and advanced than what has already been installed in the city as part of a pilot project.”

Elaborating on the usage, Reddy said the elevated road would have “less amount of pollution due to high impact of the wind at a height of 12 mts”.

“But the road underneath the corridor will have more pollutants and SPMs as there will hardly be any wind. At these places, the purifiers and absorption machines play an important role,” he said.

The SEIAA, which had given clearance in March 2019, had said, “Project proponent shall install system to carry out ambient air quality monitoring for common/criterion parameters relevant to the main pollutants released (Ex PM10 and PM 2.5) covering upwind and downwind directions during construction period.”

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