Air purifier deployed in Taj Mahal to combat pollution

AGRA: As northern India fights severe levels of pollution, state authorities have deployed a Taj Mahal to save the iconic monument, officials said Sunday.

The air purification truck deployed by the Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has the capacity to purify 15 lakh cubic meters of air in eight hours within a 300-meter radius, they said.

Looking at the developing situation and consistent deterioration in air quality, a mobile air purifier van has been deployed at the west gate of the Taj Mahal, Regional Officer of UPPCB Bhuvan Yadav said.

Pollution around the white marble mausoleum has been a matter of concern for a long time, as it has been damaging the monument, one of the seven wonders of the world.

The district administration, Agra Nagar Nigam and UPPCB collaborated with telecommunications operator Vodafone-Idea, as part of corporate social responsibility efforts, to bring two air purification vans to the city to combat pollution, officials said.

The vans were brought to Agra on October 24 and looking at the fast deteriorating air quality in the city, one of them has now been deployed near the Taj Mahal to protect it from, Yadav said.

At present there is no continuous air monitoring station around the Taj Mahal to help calculate the AQI so the magnitude of how much air has been purified cannot be determined, the officials said.

However, there is a monitoring station at Sanjay Palace in the city, which showed an AQI of 293 at 4pm, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. An AQI between 201-300 is considered poor and causes respiratory distress to most people in prolonged exposure.

Several cities in northern India have been fighting tremendous levels of pollution in recent days, which has led authorities to declare health emergencies in Delhi.