Delhi air quality is the most talked-about issue currently for the fact that it is a near-crisis situation. Delhi air quality index ranges from very poor to even severe in several areas of the capital. A health emergency has been declared in the capital with schools having been given holidays, and an advisory issued to people to stay indoors.
In the hopes of providing the residents of Delhi with some respite in this crisis situation, the Delhi Government has implemented the Odd-Even Scheme starting today. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of this scheme in addressing the severity of the current conditions in Delhi has been questioned by several people in the opposition as well as the general public. However, since the Delhi air quality declines around the same time every year, here are some technological solutions that governments can look at in future:
IoT sensors across the city: Unless the government can pinpoint the cause of pollution exactly, it would be next to impossible to find a solution to this problem. IoT sensor is the most cost-effective way to do that. The sensors can be attached in public places, streetlights and other such areas to measure and report Delhi air quality so that measures can be taken before it even deteriorates.
Over time, using data analytics and artificial intelligence to study the accumulated data, the government may be able to predict and even take measures to avoid the situation altogether in the future.
Electrics vehicles: The usage of electric vehicles needs to be encouraged further among the people of the country. Although subsidies are being provided to those using electric vehicles, there is much more that needs to be done. Although electric vehicles do not emit poisonous gases themselves, they rely heavily on electricity which in turn is dependent on coal in several regions. Therefore, more modes of renewable energy need to be discovered to reduce the number of greenhouse gases emitted.
Furthermore, the cost of electric vehicles is comparatively high. Therefore, electric vehicles need to be made more affordable and charging infrastructure in the form of power grids in gas stations needs to be increased to promote the usage of electric vehicles.
Installation of smog towers: While the above two methods are more of preventive measures, smog towers can provide immediate relief even after a crisis situation has occurred. Discovered by Dutch inventor Daan Roosegaarde the smog tower has the capacity to clean 30,000 ug/m3 of air per hour by using only a small amount of green electricity. Such smog free towers have reportedly been launched in China, the Netherlands and Poland.
Artificial rain: One phenomenon that is capable of providing immediate solace from air pollution is rain. However, currently, rains are not expected in Delhi. Nevertheless, IIT Kanpur is seeking permission to undertake cloud seeding to create artificial rains, according to a report on the Times of India. Artificial rain is a phenomenon that is created by injecting silver iodide or other chemical substances into the atmosphere to mimic ice nuclei. The process needs to be conducted using aircraft. This process makes clouds generate more ice crystals that fall as snowflakes or melt to produce rain.