Special Issue on COVID-19 Aerosol Drivers, Impacts and Mitigation (IX)

Dipanjali Majumdar This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Kolkata Zonal Centre, i-8, sector-C, EKDP, E.M. Bypass, Kolkata 700107, India


Received: July 30, 2020
Revised: September 19, 2020
Accepted: October 1, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.07.0463  

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Cite this article:

Majumdar, D. (2021). How are the Two Most Polluted Metro-cities of India Combating Air Pollution? Way Forward after Lifting of COVID-19 Lockdown. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200463. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.07.0463


  • City-specific policies are executed in NCR Delhi and Kolkata to manage air pollution.
  • Present policies may help in reducing air pollution in these cities as much as 20%.
  • Lockdown lead to reduce air pollution by limiting activities at emission sources.
  • There is a significant gap in current policies that requires immediate attention.


The national capital region of Delhi and Kolkata are the two metro cities in India worst affected by poor air quality. Multiple policies have been declared and implemented by the city authority in the recent past with the hope of improving the air quality of the cities and to attain the national ambient air quality standard. This study assesses that these present policies can help to reduce air pollution in these cities as much as 20% in the optimistic assessment, which may not be sufficient to attain the clean-air goal soon. During April and May 2020, the nationwide lockdown to control the pandemic of COVID-19 has unintentionally resulted in improved air quality due to force reduction at pollution emission sources. Significant pollution emitting sectors in NCR-Delhi are still not covered in current policy measures adequately. The substantial contribution of secondary aerosol formation from its precursor gases is still not addressed in any city-specific policies. The present study attempts to assess these gaps in current air pollution control policies. A way forward is indicated to empower these two polluted metro cities to attain clean air after lifting of the lockdown for the safety of the city inhabitants.

Keywords: Air pollution control policy, COVID-19, Lockdown, PM2.5, Emission inventory, Kolkata, NCR-Delhi

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