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Pollution in Delhi: How Can It Be Controlled?

Published on: June 18, 2018 | Updated on: February 2, 2019

Pollution in Delhi

Pollution is one of the major issues causing concern not only in India but across the world. The technological advancement and speedy development since India’s Independence has come at a great environmental cost. According to the global Environment Performance Index (EPI) 2018, India is ranked at 177 with an EPI of 30.57, and it is disheartening to hear that Delhi, the national capital of the country, is being tagged as one of the most heavily polluted capital cities in the world. It is the world’s worst city in terms of air pollution, with with an unhealthy air quality index for the majority of the year. Thus, today, one of the biggest threats to the welfare of the people of Delhi and the city as a whole is pollution of various types

Classification of pollution in Delhi

  • Air pollution
  • Noise pollution
  • Water pollution
  • Domestic waste
  • Industrial waste
  • Vehicular pollution
  • Hospital waste
  • Solid waste etc.

Causes of pollution in Delhi

  • Growing population of the city. The pressure and haphazard growth of the population is deteriorating the environment.
  • There has been highly haphazard and unplanned development of industries and factories. Studies have revealed that only about 20% of the industrial units are set up in the approved industrial areas whereas the rest of them are in residential and commercial areas.
  • There has been a huge rise in the vehicular population, in spite of the metro railways, aggravating traffic congestion and increasing air and noise pollution. It has also been reported that the number of vehicles plying on the roads of Delhi is more than that of the three metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai taken together.
  • There has also been an ever-increasing number of diesel vehicles plying on the roads, which are largely responsible for the air pollution.
  • It has been reported by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) that everyday almost 8,000 m tonnes of solid waste is being generated in Delhi. Plus we also have the industrial hazardous and non-hazardous waste. On an average, everyday, the MCDs and the NDMC manage to clear about 5,000-5,500 m tonnes of garbage. This results in the accumulation of more and more garbage in the city.
  • There has been no proper technology or methods to treat solid, liquid, waste water, industrial and hospital wastes in the city.
  • There has been too much dependence on fossil fuels like coal-fired power plants, improper use of energy in buildings and the excessive use of biomass for cooking and heating, etc

Particulate matter for measuring pollution

One way of measuring pollution is by the measure of particulate matter. Particulate matter is basically a mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets like acids, chemicals, gas, water, metals, soil dust particles, etc., the measurement of which gives an idea of the pollution of a city. It is also known as particle pollution or PM.

Pollution in Delhi: Facts and figures

  • According to the Ambient Air Pollution (AAP) report for the year 2014, Delhi had PM 2.5 pollution levels, which is the highest in the world, followed by Beijing. This result was based on the monitoring of PM measurement of outdoor air pollution from almost 1,600 cities in 91 countries.
  • The highest concentration of PM 2.5 form of air pollution is supposed to be a very serious matter and can lead to respiratory diseases and other health problems like lung cancer.
  • According to the WHO, air pollution is the fifth largest killer in India.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO), a dangerous gas emission, is around 6,000 microgram per cubic metre in Delhi, which is much above the the safe level of 2,000 microgram per cubic metre.
  • The level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) has also been increasing.
  • According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) is 121, which is described as “poor.” The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality, about how clean or polluted the air is.

Government’s steps to control pollution in Delhi

  • There are mobile enforcement teams deployed at various locations for monitoring polluting vehicles and vehicles not having PUC certificates.
  • A Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) is being constructed with the aim of providing a non-polluting, useful and affordable rail-based mass rapid transit system for Delhi, integrated with other modes of transport.
  • With a view to reducing vehicular pollution, there has been a ban imposed on the plying of more than 15 years old commercial/transport vehicles, taxis and autos that run on conventional fuels, including diesel driven city buses.
  • There has also been tightening of mass emission standards for new vehicles.
  • The quality of the fuel being supplied in Delhi has been significantly improved over the years by the ban of selling leaded petrol, introduction of low sulphur diesel, reduction of sulphur and benzene content in petrol.
  • There has been regular placement of dustbins, purchase of additional front-end loaders, mechanical sweepers, dumper placers, tipper trucks, to collect and dispose of garbage.
  • Steps are taken to transform garbage into compost by developing new sanitary land-fill sites.
  • The Delhi Government has constituted a committee to implement the Bio-Medical Waste (management and handling) Rules, 1998.
  • The Delhi Degradable Plastic Bag (Manufacture, Sale and Usage) and Garbage (Control) Act 2000 has been enacted for banning the manufacture and use of plastic bags, etc.
  • Government has banned the manufacturing of BSLV III engines, and implemented policy to ensure that only eco-friendly BSLV IV engine is manufactured.

It’s not that the Government is not taking steps to control pollution in Delhi. But we need proper and efficient implementation of plans and programmes and policies launched by the Government.

How can citizens of Delhi help in reducing pollution?

Pollution in Delhi is a perpetual problem which need to be looked upon as a serious issue not only by the Government but also by the citizens of the city.

  • One of the easiest ways is that there should be an efficient involvement of Resident Welfare Associations in various localities in collection, segregation of garbage from houses and the societies.
  • Citizens can take steps to covert the garbage into compost in their localities.
  • More and more trees must be planted in every locality.
  • Every individual should keep a proper check on the pollution level of their vehicles.
  • Making more use of CNG.
  • One of the best ways to control pollution is to manage wastes of all types in a proper manner.
  • Each and every citizen should abide by the 3Rs: Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.
  • More and more people should use bus and metro instead of cars and scooters, as they can carry a lot more people in one journey. Car pool is also a good option.
  • Controlling the use of energy and making use of electricity in an efficient manner.
  • One can also reduce water pollution by reducing the use of chemicals, cleaning agents, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers etc.

It is the duty of every citizen to think in a broader perspective to control pollution. We really don’t want our future generations to live in an unhealthy environment in Delhi. We really don’t want our children or our elders to get into incessant coughing due to pollution. Like we say charity begins at home, I take a pledge to do what I can for my environment and protect it to the best I can. If each one of us takes a pledge to do our bit for our environment, I am sure Delhi will be a better place to live in. Even a small step counts…

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Vehicular Pollution in Delhi and Its Impact on Lotus Temple
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Article Name
Pollution in Delhi: How Can It Be Controlled?
Delhi, the national capital of the country, is being tagged as one of the most heavily polluted capital cities in the world. It is the world’s worst city in terms of air pollution, with an unhealthy air quality index for the majority of the year.


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Showing 30 Comments :

Helped me in completing my assignment on time


It is good to travel in indigo


Excellent post, every city should implement these measures.


It helped me very much for my holiday homework

Stanzin Rinchen November 6, 2016 at 7:10 pm

I think that there should be a complete banned on fireworks, and it causes the one year pollution in two days of Diwali celebration. Therefore Government should take some serious step against it.


this seems usefull for school projects


If Delhi government is agree with this they can contact me..I also want to contribute to the welfare of Delhi..


CNG is far better solution, however, it’s not a full proof solution to control the pollution because it’s a Gas. Our scientists should must discover some other things as well to stop the pollution.


To control pollution level in delhi
We not only need to check the pollution level in cars or reduce the number of cars but also we need to clean our delhi roads which contains a lot of dust which is contributing in delhi’s air pollution. We can’t bring a change in the particulate matter of delhi’s pollution. This is mixed in the atmosphere and it is very very difficult to reduce it. We can just decrease the increase of pm in air.


I am living in Moti Nagar, near Karam Pura, and this has been observed that from last few months sweepers are coming around 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on their work/duty, and this time is mostly for school going children’s/kids and due to dusty environment they are suffering from throat and cough infection.

Govt. should take some hard steps and should ask sweepers to come early on their work or arrange special vehicles for cleaning and dust free environment especially in the crowded areas.

M.D SARFRAZ QURAISHY April 15, 2016 at 1:17 am

People of Delhi should think about the future of coming generation.instead of using their personal car and motorcycle,they must use the bus or metro.this is one of the best way to control the pollution in Delhi. People should plant more and more trees to control the pollution. Do not through the waste materials on the road. People must use the dustbin to through the waste materials.It is impossible for the Government of Delhi to control the pollution.if people can help the Government it will be easily controlled.many people do not now that Delhi is one of the most polluted city in the world,if we help the Government INSHALLAHA one day Delhi will be cleanest city in the world .so,start from today to keep our city neat and clean .

yashwant saxena March 25, 2016 at 9:57 am

we researched on smoke pollution and garbage of city like biowaste polythines PVC glass metal scrap is all use and removed with zero pollution . YASHWANT SAXENA 9214997404.

shubham bhatt March 9, 2016 at 7:57 pm

it was very helpfull to me…
thank you…


i think for many pollution raise by moter vehicle so decrease vehicle on road. so i think that only vehicle resister who have one parking otherwise no resister to vehicle may be 75% of vehicle are out of delhi so pollution and vehicle rush are less.


Rationalized the diesel .Diesel or petrol should be delivered in limited quality. That also should be delivered on smart card on pumps.
All the train should stop at all NCR city .


– LOOK for a BUS or SHARE with Colleague ??? — WHICH is NOT AVAILABLE

FREE TIMING CAN BE 09 Hours to 19 HOURS (may come 1/2 hour early and can go one hour late)
– New K series and other Petrol Engines are NON POLLUTING VEHICLES
– Regarding Sharing a car IF all have same even and odd no. CHANGE OF REGISTRATION no. MAY BE ALLOWED


It is very informative.


Sir- To implement the odd even scheme we should ask the citizens to deposit Rs 100 or 200/ per day for car and motor cycle if he wants to drive on the restricted day- He will get a sticker fro the Delhi Govt that he has to put to ply on the road- I DO NOT WANT GREEN DELHI– it shall add to the revenue of Delhi Govt as well we will get a data base of individuals who are not good citizens.

Even if 10 lac vehicles deposit Rs 200/ The revenue to DELHI govt shall be 2 crore per day and in 15 days 30 crore- That can be used to get buses or in whatever deemed suited.


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If u want to control pollution of delhi

Then govt should count the need of vehicles in evryy house
Should only allow one car in one house other should b bannd
Accrdng to the population of houses soon we can see less vehicle on road n pollution problm can b solved


all these points are hogwash
real solution for delhi is compulsory conversion of all petrol cars to cng and ban on sale of new diesel vehicles countrywide.




very nice nd appreciative…


Help in doing HHW


It’s sooooooooooo useful thanx


very nice



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