Delhi’s deadly dust: how construction sites are choking the city

Delhi's deadly dust: how construction sites are choking the city
© Bloomberg / Getty Images

The Indian capital’s inherently dusty air is made worse by countless unregulated construction sites – and the production of bricks and concrete to feed them

Far out on Delhi’s southern and eastern fringes the rows of high-rises suddenly turn skeletal. The population of the Indian capital, already the second largest in the world, is forecast to grow by 9 million in the next 15 years; and despite a recent lull in new projects, areas such as Noida are a universe of worksites, cranes and workers.

The empty towers stretch as far as can be seen – which is only about 300 metres. Like much of Delhi on most winter mornings, Noida is blanketed in thick smog and a heavy dust that cakes windows and clogs throats.

A comprehensive 2016 study of what is to blame for Delhi’s poor air identified some obvious sources, such as car emissions, the city’s coal-fired power stations and rubbish fires both small and literally mountainous. But it also highlighted more unlikely culprits.

Dust kicked up by cars along Delhi’s vast and growing road network contributes between a third and 56% of the most harmful pollutants in the city’s atmosphere.

The city’s construction sites, and the production of the raw materials that feed them – such as bricks and concrete – are also an outsized contributor to the foul air that some lung specialists warn is making Delhi hazardous, particularly for children and the elderly.

In a country largely under construction – by some rough projections, around 70% of the buildings that will exist in India’s cities by 2030 are yet to be built – controlling the dust produced by roads and worksites is an important, but largely neglected, part of clearing Delhi’s air, according to environmental groups. […]

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

Leave a Comment