Air Quality

Air Quality Resources and Initiatives:


There are many videos about Delhi’s poor air quality. For example:

Why Isn’t Delhi on pollution red alert?

Delhi Smog: Crop Burning Adds to Pollution

Indoor Air Pollution Kills Thousands in India

There are many newspaper articles about Delhi’s poor air quality. For example:

Organizations working on air quality research and awareness:


In the past 10 years, there have been at least four major studies on the underlying causes and sources Delhi’s poor air quality. If you read them, you will find it is a complex problem, in part because air itself is complex and always moving! You can read a summary of each study at the Urban Emissions Website. I would start there, because it’s more reader-friendly. This is a great resource for those who really want to dig into air quality.

Here are a few studies on the underlying effects of bad air quality.


Delhi’s air quality problem is the result of many, many causes. It follows that there will not be just one solution. For a great introduction on how to control air pollution, Urban Emission’s Primer on Air Quality Management is a must-read!

There are many initiatives that have had or are impacting the problem in small and large ways. So far, none has been enough, but all have strengths and limitations. It might be be interesting to look at one of these.

  • Odd-Even Program: Analysis Q&A’: While Odd-Even did not solve Delhi’s air quality problem, these researchers from the US found that it did have a significant impact. It might not work in the long run, but some form of traffic-reduction is probably a necessary part of the air quality solution.
  • Delhi pollution: What Kejriwal govt is doing to improve air quality’–a short report in the Indian Express on some of what the Delhi government is doing.
  • Here are some general initiatives that have been tried or considered. All have been shown to have an impact on air quality that you might research; all have strengths and limitations:
    • Dust reduction in sweeping and construction;
    • Reduction of day-time traffic and night trucks that run through the city;
    • Reduction in use of coal fired plants;
    • Reduction in the use of diesel vehicles and generators;
    • Increase in public transportation options (metro; bus; train, etc.)



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