Clearing the Air Seminar Series: ‘Thick with Dust: Air Pollution in the National Capital Region’

31 July 2018
Clearing the Air Seminar Series: ‘Thick with Dust: Air Pollution in the National Capital Region’

Watch the full video (above) of the ninth event in the Clearing the Air Seminar Series: ‘Thick with Dust: Air Pollution in the National Capital Region.’ 

The seminar was held on July 16th, 2018, and the panellists included Dr Umesh Chandra Kulshrestha, Dr Anuradha Shukla, and Mr Sunil Agarwal. The panel was moderated by CPR Senior Fellow, Dr Navroz K Dubash. 

All three panellists expressed the need for a holistic, cross-sectoral, and coordinated policy response to dust pollution. Professor Kulshrestha discussed the impact of long-range and transboundary dust pollutants on air quality, and identified the rejuvenation of India’s water bodies as a key step towards tackling dust. Dr Shukla emphasised that although road dust currently constitutes 56% of PM10 and 38% of PM2.5 annually in the National Capital Region, policy measures rarely address the problem - particularly in the summer, when the dust is re-suspended in the air by vehicles. Mr Sunil Agarwal discussed the need for ‘conscious’ real estate management in order to reduce construction dust, and highlighted the importance of active Resident Welfare Associations and frequent site inspections to enforce existing regulations. 

The question and answer session that followed can be accessed here.

Videos and other information about previous events in the Series can be found here

About the Panellists 

Dr Umesh Chandra Kulshrestha is a Professor at the School of Environmental Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. His research interests include dust aerosol chemistry and gaseous nitrogen pollution, with a special focus on the atmospheric and environmental implications of poor air quality. Dr Kulshrestha has been the Deputy Director of the South Asian Nitrogen Centre, a fellow at the Indian Geophysical Union, and the South Asia Coordinator of IMI Stockholm University’s Atmospheric Brown Cloud project. In the past, he has been a review editor for the WMO/UNEP Integrated Assessment Report on Black Carbon and Ozone, as well as an expert reviewer of the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report.

Dr Anuradha Shukla is the Chief Scientist at the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), New Delhi. She has more than thirty years of experience and knowledge on urban emissions particles and transportation. Her research has covered the health impacts of suspended particulate matter, the measurement and characterisation of urban dust, and a review of India’s transportation carbon footprint. Dr. Shukla currently serves on an Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) led by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. In the past, she has been the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright-Nehru Environmental Leadership Program.

Mr Sunil Agarwal is the founder and managing director of Black Olive Ventures, a real estate valuation and Advisory company. He has over 23 years of experience in the real estate sector. Previously he was the co-founder and CEO of South Asian Real Estate (SARE), a private equity fund backed real estate developer. He has also served as the Vice President at Private Equity firm ICICI Ventures, and held senior positions with HSBC, DS Group, Colliers International Chesterton Meghraj (now JLL India) and School of Real Estate – RICS SBE as Director and Associate Dean. He has also served as a member of the board of studies of the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi and of Center for Environment Planning and Technology.

This was the ninth event in the Clearing the Air Seminar Series, organised by the Initiative on Climate, Energy and Environment (ICEE) at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR). The series aims to promote sustained and informed public understanding around the data, impacts, sources and policy challenges involved in clearing Delhi's air. While it focuses on the context of Delhi, the series also reflects on the fact that the problem extends far beyond Delhi. The seminar series presents the work of experts in a range of areas to help promote informed public discussion about what changes are needed, what is possible, and how to get it done. Clearing the air in terms of knowledge and public information, we hope, will make a small contribution toward actually clearing Delhi's air. Information about previous events held as part of the series can be found here.

The views shared belong to individual faculty and researchers and do not represent an institutional stance on the issue.