Delhi’s air will have twice the normal amount of PM 2.5 in it even if all emission sources are controlled within the city limits, Mukesh Kumar, the co-author of an IIT-Kanpur study on the sources of Delhi’s pollution, said on Wednesday.
Kumar said Delhi’s air quality depended heavily on areas surrounding the Capital.
“Even if we control all sources of pollution within the city, off-site pollution will still contribute and take Delhi’s air pollution levels to around 120 microgram per cubic metres,” said Sharma. The standard for PM 2.5 in India is 60 microgram per cubic metres.
Kumar, who was speaking at the Indo-US air quality workshop in the city on Wednesday, stressed on a regional plan for the north Indian cities to combat air pollution.
Later in the day, Sunita Narain, director general, Centre for Science and Environment, told experts to stop lecturing about air pollution control measures without knowing the challenges faced by the country.
“Don’t lecture us on air pollution control unless you are sensitive and aware of the challenges. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana burn agricultural stubble because they don’t have a viable option to remove the agricultural waste,” she said.
She also asked what the US was doing about the increasing green house gases.
The workshop saw participants from US universities, Indian Universities and government agencies, auto industry and civil society.
Earlier in the day, Liam Fitzgerald from the US Embassy’s Resource Conservation Unit said that they were looking at reconstructing the embassy complex to insulate it from the polluted air outside.
Toxicity of emissions and regional plans
The participants of the workshop on Wednesday also said that there was a clear need to formulate a programme for Delhi.
“Studies say that particulate matter released from burning coal and diesel is more harmful than road dust. These things need to be taken into account,” said CSE’s Anumita Roy Chowdhury.