CADTIME: Clean Air for Delhi Through Interventions, Mitigations and Engagement

Lead Research Organisation: Northumbria University
Department Name: Fac of Engineering and Environment


The Clean Air for Delhi Through Interventions, Mitigations and Engagement (CADTIME) project aims to understand what is required to deliver significant reductions in levels of air pollution, within the confines of factors which are under our control, through affordable, effective interventions that consider and respond to future changes.

CADTIME brings together a consortium of institutions and experts from across both India and the United Kingdom with the goal of addressing air quality issues that affect people's health in Delhi. This goal will be achieved through the development of an Integrated Action Plan (IAP), detailing strategies and potential interventions for mitigating air pollution in both the city, and surrounding region.

The IAP will be based on development of a sound understanding of the current contributing factors to air pollution across the domestic, transport, industrial and agricultural sectors, for Delhi, as well as forecasting of how those sectors will change across the short, medium and long terms. The plan can only be realised through the contributions of government agencies, local stakeholders and collaboration with population at large. The use of workshops, focus groups and extensive consultation will ensure that proposed strategies are realistic, clearly defined, well targeted and mindful of technological and social constraints. Above all strategies will be economically viable and environmentally sustainable. They will also be far-thinking and cross-cutting, embracing political, technological and behavioural change.

The CADTIME project is envisaged to run over a 48-month period. Initial stages of the project will involve the development of modelling tools, such as collating emissions inventories and dispersion models, as well as the collection of information on current policies and best practice for mitigation within the city and region. The international nature of the consortium will allow a golden opportunity for academics and researchers from both nations to learn from each other. Latter stages of the project will see collaboration with stakeholders coming to the fore, as the IAP takes definition and shape. Care will be taken to ensure that, wherever possible, the strategies defined for Delhi will also have relevance to other major urban areas in the sub-continent. In addition to Delhi, the CADTIME consortium includes the Indian Institutes of Technology of Madras and Bombay. Ultimately, the beneficiaries of the CADTIME project will be the Indian People and Government through a reduction in the burden of ill health that is inflicted upon them by air quality.

Planned Impact

The overall aim of this research is to develop and deliver a comprehensive, scientifically-robust, novel, integrated approach that manages industrial, domestic and vehicle emissions, in Delhi from a local to regional scale and creates a platform for research to inform policy decision-making. Air pollution in Delhi is a complex problem with multiple sources and receptors and therefore multiple stakeholders. In order to ensure its success the project must have the ownership of the policy-makers and practitioners that will be responsible for its implementation. Furthermore the implementation of these policies and practices must have the support and buy-in from businesses and the public. To achieve an integrated approach, stakeholder engagement is key to the development and delivery of this research.
Ultimately, the main beneficiaries will be those who live, work and go to school in Delhi and are exposed to health-damaging levels of air pollution on a daily basis. Reducing air pollution will have a direct impact on the health and well-being of Delhi's residents and workforce, both short-term and long-term as exposure is reduced over the 35 year implementation period of the action plan. As well as the obvious social benefits that this will achieve, both in terms of levelling the imbalance of social and environmental equity associated with air pollution, as well as the quality of life improvements for all, there will be economic benefits in terms of health-cost savings and improved productivity.

While the indirect aim of this research is to improve air quality and reduce associated mortality, morbidity and its social costs, the project's primary impact will be achieved through the development and delivery of an integrated air quality action plan to enable the city to achieve the greater aim of improved air quality for itself. The main direct beneficiaries will therefore be the policy makers and practitioners with whom the integrated air quality action plan will be developed, and who will benefit from the coordination of an effective and workable solution to enable them to manage the complex air pollution situation in Delhi. In addition, there will be inevitable efficiency cost savings arising from this coordinated and integrated approach, both for local and regional governments and for emission source sector businesses.

In order to understand the complexities and opportunities for managing air pollution in Delhi and to achieve active stakeholder engagement, the project is underpinned by a series of workshops held in Delhi with participants from:

* government departments and agencies with responsibility for the main sources of air pollution associated with waste, transport, construction and energy;
* government departments and agencies with responsibility for public health;
* business representatives of the waste, transport, construction and energy sectors;
* educational establishments, community groups and members of the public.

Participants will be drawn from across Delhi and the local region in order to capture sources and impacts across the wider urban catchment, thereby achieving a more holistic and effective approach and broadening the impact and benefits across the region.

The engagement with schools, communities and the public will have an additional educational aspect that will inform and empower individuals and families to create their own lifestyle and behavioural changes generating personal social and economic benefits that will aggregate up to achieve meaningful and sustainable community benefits. Grassroots education and action will also provide the bottom-up stimulus to ensure political support for the integrated actions promoted within the air quality action plan thereby securing its success.


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Kuppili S (2021) Characteristics of real-world gaseous exhaust emissions from cars in heterogeneous traffic conditions in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

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Loo B (2023) Reducing road transport emissions for climate policy in China and India in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

Description CADTIME carried out monitoring of tailpipe emissions from motor vehicles in India (Delhi and Chennai) to determine real-world emission which are usually higher than the approved emission factors given by motor manufacturers. This work has resulted in a landmark scientific paper on tail pipe emission in India. See:
(Alshetty, VD; Kuppili, SK; Nagendra, SMS; Ramadurai, G; Sethi, V; Kumar, R; Sharma, N; Namdeo, A; Bell, M; Goodman, P; Chatterton, T; Barnes, J; De Vito, L; Longhurst. (2019) Characteristics of tail pipe (Nitric oxide) and resuspended dust emissions from urban roads-A case study in Delhi city. Journal of Transport & Health.
CADTIME also carried out detailed data analysis of the air quality data fro Delhi and surrounding region NCR. Our objectives was to understand the limitations of publicly available data, its utility to determine pollution sources across Delhi-NCR and establish seasonal profiles of chemically active trace gases. We found that it is not possible to evaluate the influence of regional pollution transport upon concentrations measured at sites within Delhi and the NCR. See the article:

Sarkawt, MLH; Kumar, P; Harrison, R; Bloss, WJ; Khare, M; Mishra, S; Namdeo, A; Sokhi, R; Goodman, P; Sharma, S (2020) Four-year assessment of ambient particulate matter and trace gases in the Delhi-NCR region of India. Sustainable Cities and Society, Vol 54,
Exploitation Route Engage with key stakeholders in developing new interventions to control air pollution in Delhi/NCR
Sectors Construction,Energy,Environment

Description Our new findings on real-world tailpipe emissions and the contribution of pollution by surrounding regions also haev significant impact on developing mitigation measures for Delhi. CADTIME team have conducted several focus groups with general public to discuss air pollution in Delhi and how it affects their lives, and what the public think of the interventions adopted so far. CADTIME team also has conducted interviews with experts from National Green Tribunal, Pollution Control Boards (Central and states) to understand their perspective on the effectiveness of past and current air pollution mitigation measures. This has created significant non-academic impact.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Construction,Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

Description Mexico City and Newcastle Partnership on Health and Air Pollution Research and Engagement (MANAPRE)
Amount £131,941 (GBP)
Funding ID 527635178 
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 02/2021