Indian megacities as localities of environmental vulnerability from air quality perspective

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Bhola R. Gurjar, Ajay S. Nagpure


Large proportions of the Indian population live in megacities (e.g., Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata), which are vibrant centers of economic opportunities and offering better quality of social life. Due to increasing migration to these cities, Indian megacities are constantly expanding, which subsequently leads to strain on the environment with a range of impacts at local, regional and global levels. During the last few decades the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other air pollutants have increased substantially, resulting in worsening ambient air quality of these cities. With respect to time span the concern over air pollutants has also changed in Indian megacities. Concern over particulate matter, black carbon, NOx and ozone has heightened recently due to their local and regional impacts on air quality and environmental (including public) health and also because they contribute to global climate change. Although authorities have implemented several measures to reduce air pollution and its impacts in Indian megacities, much more is yet to be done to improve their ambient air quality. This paper focuses on major air pollution and GHGs emission issues in Indian megacities and associated problems within the framework of their role in environmental vulnerability.


emission inventory; human health; Kolkata; Delhi; Mumbai; air pollution

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