ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mainstreaming Built Environment for Air Pollution Management Plan in Delhi

The air quality levels are degrading in urban areas posing severe implications for human health and lifestyle. The quality of air we breathe is not only determined by the location of pollution sources and the emission levels but also the built environment. In this article, the link between air quality levels and the built environment in Delhi considering data within a 1 km buffer area of the air quality monitoring stations is presented.


Concerns related to the increasing air pollution levels have been growing. Delhi is identified as one of the most polluted cities globally (WHO 2016). This calls for the need to address the emission and dispersion of pollutants at both local and regional levels. Respective authorities have implemented various strategies to reduce the air pollution levels in Delhi. This includes the relocation of polluting industries, implementation of metrorail network, conversion of diesel-fuelled public transport and para-transit to compressed natural gas, conversion of coal-based electricity generation power plant to gas-based, stringent fuel emission standards, construction of expressway and implementation of odd–even passenger vehicle policy (Goel and Pant 2016; Gulia et al 2018; Chakraborty and Srivastava 2019). How­ever, despite several steps, the severity of air pollutants has been on the rise in the past decade and is attributed to the increasing population, personal motor­ised vehicles and construction activities.

Various studies have been conducted in the context of Delhi to understand the dispersion and sources of pollutants. These studies use dispersion models utilising pollutant concentration data collected from monitoring stations and receptor modelling techniques along with the meteorological data. The studies help in identifying the priority areas to reduce air pollution levels. For example, Chakra­borty and Srivastava (2019) empha­sise the need to address diesel-fuelled heavy vehicular movement at the local level and stubble burning at the ­regional level to address the increasing concentration of particulate matter (PM) in the city. Bhanarkar et al (2018) ­emphasised the need to curb transboundary pollution along with a comprehensive approach to minimise air pollution levels in Delhi. As per Gulia et al (2018), reduction in construction activities and restricted operation of diesel generator (DG) sets in Delhi can help in reducing air pollution. The authors emphasised area-specific control measures to achieve maximum efficiency.

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Updated On : 6th Feb, 2021


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