Clean Air for Delhi Through Interventions, Mitigations and Engagement


Air quality (AQ) and associated health effects in urban areas are a major concern in both developed and developing countries. The threats posed by human exposure to poor air quality in urban areas are often unrecognised, but are one of the main health threats faced worldwide. In Asia, the situation is exacerbated by rapid urbanisation, industrialisation, and deficiencies in supporting infrastructure. Recent international studies show increases of respiratory and other related diseases due to poor air quality in many cities. Poverty and poor development planning compound citizen’s exposure. According to the recent Global Burden of Disease report (IHME, 2013), outdoor air pollution is the 5th largest cause of death in India, resulting in 692,000 premature deaths and the loss of 18.2 million healthy life years in 2010, primarily associated with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. These include stroke (25%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (17%), heart disease (49%), lower res-piratory infections (6%), and trachea, bronchus and lung cancer (2%). A study by Health Effects Institute (HEI) indicates that some of the highest levels of outdoor air pollution in the world are rec-orded in cities in China and India. A recent study by the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) indicated that 58% of Asian cities (out of 230) had annual PM10 levels exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) annual standard of 70 μg/m3. Previous studies across India have shown strong correlations between respiratory problems, mortality rate, premature death, and air pollution levels (Lahiri and Ray, 2006a, b). A study by Public Health and Air Pollution in Asia (PAPA) indicated a 0.4% increase of total mortality rate for every 10 μg/m3 rise in PM10 concentration in Chennai city.

Global Aim

CADTIME aims to understand what is required to deliver significant reductions in levels of air pollu-tion, within the confines of factors which are under our control, through affordable, effective interven-tions that consider and respond to future changes.


In order to achieve the global aim a number of objectives have been identified, to be delivered through an integrated work task structure.

  1. Identify key emission sources, emission trends and current scenario analysis using outputs from CADTIME, ASAP, DelhiFlux and PROMOTE projects.
  2. Identify key factors controlling urban air quality legislation/policies/standards.
  3. Develop and validate an effective and efficient air quality modelling system for assessing hot spot, local and regional pollution problems integrated with modelling from PROMOTE.
  4. Design and quantify impacts of interventions for mitigating air pollution in Indian Megacity Delhi for current, medium-term (2030) and long-term (2050) horizons.
  5. Compile a range of potential practical interventions with stakeholders through DELPHI meth-odology, employing both forecasting and backcasting approaches to develop an air pollution management pathway; and create a prioritised shortlist of robust solutions with quantified impacts.
  6. Evaluate the reduction in pollution achievable by recommended interventions to 2050.
  7. Interact with and integrate research outputs from Themes 1, 2 and 3 (DAPHNE) to collective benefit.