Tourists take photos among heavy haze in New Delhi, India, Nov. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Stringer)
by Peerzada Arshad Hamid
NEW DELHI, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Delhi government is testing the efficacy of an anti-smog gun here on Wednesday, in hopes of bringing down the increasing air pollution levels in the city, local officials said.
Officials took the anti-smog gun to Anand Vihar area, where the air quality is perpetually severe, with the air quality index (AQI) showing a reading of 413.
According to engineers involved in the trials, the anti-smog gun sprays atomized water into the atmosphere to clear the air of pollutants.
The anti-smog gun device has been mounted on a vehicle with the aim to take it across the city. It is connected to a water tank, and sprays water into the atmosphere to as high as 50 meters.
"The fine water particles sprayed through the gun work like rain, sticking to the deadly particulate matter suspended in the air and bringing them down," an official said.
"The water goes like mist in the air and captures dust and other particles, bringing them down to the ground."
"We see it as our main weapon to shoot down the lethal Delhi smog that shrouds the capital especially during winters. It suppresses pollution and dust particles by 95 percent," the official said.
The trial run is being carried out by the environment department and Delhi pollution control committee in presence of Delhi's environment minister Imran Hussain.
"We need to carry out its testing at several locations in order to see if it can bring out desired results," a pollution control committee official involved with the trials said.
"Once we are satisfied, then it can be approved for actual operations."
Reports say the device costs 31,214 U.S. dollars each.
Officials in Delhi are struggling hard to contain the increasing air pollution levels.
Earlier this month an international test cricket match between India and Sri Lanka was stopped due to the air pollution in Delhi. Sri Lankan players played with masks and some of them complained of vomiting.
Following the incident, India's top environmental court - the National Green Tribunal - slammed the government for holding a match despite poor air quality.
Deadly smog chocks air, causing breathlessness and lung difficulties, and badly affecting visibility.
Delhi is considered to be the most polluted city in the world. Last year the city's high court described the capital as a "gas chamber."
Pollution in Delhi gets aggravated during winter months. Ahead of the winter, farmers burn agricultural waste to clear cropland, which contributes to the choking of already polluted air.