The Karnataka State Road Development Corporation, the public body in charge of executing the 102 kilometer elevated corridor project in the city has mooted the idea of installing air purifiers and carbon absorbent machines to combat pollution in the city. The idea was proposed in the Relief and Rehabilitation report the body prepared.
The State Level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) gave a no objection certificate (NOC) for the project in March 2019.A release stated that the elevated corridor will be at a height of 12m. At such a height, the purifiers and absorption machines can play an important role in reducing pollution. The department plans to install purifiers in 30 locations on the North-South corridor.
According to a KRDCL official, a few months ago a pilot project was taken up where they installed an air purifier at Hudson Circle which yielded good results. The secretary of PWD K S Krishna Reddy said, “These are not regular air purifiers or carbon-absorbing machines. They are advanced machines with high capacity that can absorb suspended particulate matter and other major pollutants in the air. These machines will be far more advanced than what has already been installed in the city as part of a pilot project.” He added, “Air cleaners and carbon-absorbing machines will be placed in the most polluted junctions of the proposed 102km long elevated corridor.”
The idea has failed to convince civic activists however by the KRDCL’s proposal. Activist Tara Krishnaswamy said, “Firstly, the elevated corridor is a waste of money. If they know that the air is already bad, then why should we even go for this project? We can invest in public transport instead. We are increasing the pollution by adding more vehicles on the roads.” Vinay Srinivas from Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike concurred. “It is not fair to cut trees and then install air purifiers. They are saying the elevated corridor project will reduce traffic, but if the same investment is made on public transport, most of the problem will be solved.”