Thick with Dust: Air Pollution in the National Capital Region​​


The ICEE invites you to the ninth event in the Clearing the Air? series:

Thick with Dust: Air Pollution in the National Capital Region​​

In conversation with ​
Dr Umesh Chandra Kulshrestha, Professor, JNU, New Delhi
Dr. Anuradha Shukla, Chief Scientist, Central Road Research Institute
Mr. Sunil Agarwal, Founder and Managing Director, Black Olive Ventures
Moderated by
Dr. Navroz K Dubash, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research
Monday, 16 July 2018, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
On July 7th, the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change announced its intention to plant 31 lakh indigenous trees along Delhi’s northern border to mitigate the impacts of dust storms originating in Rajasthan in the NCR. The announcement follows severe episodes of dust pollution in the NCR and neighbouring areas in the past few years. Earlier this year, severe dust storms resulted in 120 deaths and 300 injuries across five states. Construction sites in the NCR reportedly have three to four times the recommended PM10 concentration in the air due to construction-related dust. Soil and road dust account for 56% of annual PM10 emissions and 38% of annual PM2.5 emissions in Delhi. While dust is often seen as nothing more than an irritant, suspended particulate matter and other dust pollutants present very real threats to air quality, and create toxic respiratory conditions, particularly for vulnerable sections of the population like outdoor workers, children, and the elderly.

Join us at the Centre for Policy Research on July 16th as we dive into the environmental and health-related consequences of dust in the air. The panel will explore various aspects of the issue: what is the nature and scale of the dust problem? How do climatic factors and increasing desertification contribute to the problem? How can we address the various sources causing this problem? What changes need to be made to the regulatory environment? Finally, what are the policy challenges and solutions for a rapidly developing and urbanizing region?

Please do RSVP at

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 characterization 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.
About the Series
Public debate over the quality of Delhi’s air spikes reliably every winter, along with cataclysmic readings from air quality monitors. However, public discussion tends to rapidly taper off, even as the air quality remains consistently bad.
Clearing the Air?, the CPR Initiative on Climate, Energy and Environment’s seminar series on air pollution, is aimed at promoting a sustained and informed public dialogue around the data, impacts, and policy challenges involved in improving air quality. Each seminar in the series features a range of scientific and public policy experts, and engages them in a lively discussion on what changes are needed, what is possible, and how to get them done. So far, we have examined four critical sources of air pollution: transportation, coal-based power plants, municipal solid waste, and crop residue burning. We have also discussed the challenge of public advocacy around clean air, and the health impacts of air pollution. You can find videos and other information of our previous events on our project page.

CPR’s ICEE produces research, informs public opinion and generates debate on climate, energy and environment policy at international, national and sub-national levels. Our goal is to enhance policy outcomes through informed research and policy dialogue within India and internationally.

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