We wish China's vertical forest tower, which will produce 60 kgs of Oxygen daily, is built in India

The Chinese have been fighting their long-standing problem of air pollution by fostering a spirit of innovation and initiative.

Know how we in India keep cribbing about rising pollution levels. Well, the Chinese have been whining about pollution, too. But they seem to be doing something about it. The latest in their succession of steps to combat pollution: build a forest in the middle of the city.

Like it or not, the Chinese are a crazy bunch of people!

The Chinese city of Nanjing will become the first Asian city to build a vertical forest tower, a futuristic housing concept aimed at checking pollution. The forest tower will absorb 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and give out 60 kgs of pure oxygen!

According to news reports, the construction of the Nanjing Green Towers will be completed in 2018. The building will have 1,100 trees and 2,500 other plants and shrubs.

The design of the vertical forest tower was conceived by Italian architect Stefano Boeri, who made the concept popular in Milan. According to Boeri’s website, the towers will be the third of its kind in the world. The other two are reportedly located in Milan and Losanna in Switzerland.

As per news reports, the construction will entail erecting two similar towers rising 107 and 199 metres above Nanjing. The shorter tower will house a Hyatt Hotel, while the taller one will be home to an architectural school, museum, and offices.

(Source: Twitter/VRT FRM)

The Chinese government has been involved in battling air pollution since 2012 after an air cleanliness survey rated Chinese cities, including capital Beijing, among the world’s most polluted. The state action plan in the wake of 2012 pollution crisis envisaged bringing down the pollution levels by 10 per cent over the five-year period ending 2017.

In an unprecedented move, the manufacturing powerhouse had ordered shutting down of factories around Beijing in 2015 to give the sky a “parade blue” look. While Beijing has been at the centre of government efforts to control pollution, the authorities are now moving their focus to other cities, too. According to a news report, several other Chinese cities, including Shijiazhuang, Liuzhou, Guizhou, Shanghai and Chongqing are also slated to get their own forest towers.

Perhaps, Indians should take a leaf out of the book of our strategic rival. Our cities have long overtaken China for having the world’s dirtiest air among major countries—our capital Delhi featured in the worst ten in 2016.

Innovation and initiative—that’s what is needed on our part, as exemplified by the Chinese. So, the next time the Delhi government reintroduces the ‘Odd-Even’ rule, we need to be more supportive than criticise it for being a futile effort right from the start.