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Past Issue • Oct-Dec 2013

Clean Air Express: The Delhi Metro’s Impact on Air Quality

The Delhi Metro plies across one of the most densely populated and polluted cities of India. Can this mass transit alternative lead to cleaner air? Deepti Goel and Sonam Gupta present the fi ndings of their study on the effect of the Delhi Metro on air pollution

Delhi is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. According to the latest Indian Census of 2011, the National Capital Territory (NCT) has a population of 16.8 million and a density of 11,300 persons per square kilometre. India’s capital is also infamous for high levels of air pollution. Using data obtained from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), figures 1 and 2 below clearly show that the levels of two major pollutants, namely, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO), far exceeded the prescribed standards on most days between 2004 and 2006.


  • Deepti Goel

    Deepti Goel

    Assistant Professor at the Delhi School of Economics.
  • Sonam Gupta

    Sonam Gupta

    Research Associate at IMPAQ International, a social science research firm.
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