Air Clean Up

How Is Delhi Airport Using Nature to Combat Pollution?

Jun 25 2018 Read 532 Times

Indira Gandhi International airport (IDI) in New Delhi is one of the 20 busiest airports in the world, welcoming almost 65 million people through its doors every year. At the same time, the Indian capital is notorious for its poor levels of air quality and the interior of its airport has also come under criticism for having polluted airways in the past.

In a bid to combat that reputation, Delhi Airport International Limited (DIAL) have taken the unusual step of placing approximately 35,000 plants in various locations around the building’s interior. It’s hoped that the plants will help to absorb contaminants, prevent wastage of water, mitigate elevated temperatures and improve the general aesthetic of the airport.

A multifaceted approach to tackling air pollution

India – and in particular, its capital city New Delhi – endures a torrid reputation when it comes to the state of it airwaves. The country is home to all 10 of the most polluted cities in the world and New Delhi has come under increasing criticism for the damaging levels of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) and other contaminants in the urban environment.

In response, the government have launched a multifaceted approach to curbing their emissions and cleaning up national airwaves. As well as the introduction of several measures designed to improve air quality and reduce transport-related pollution – such as phasing out all petrol and diesel cars and buses in favour of electric vehicles (EVs) by the year 2030 – the country are also committed to tackling indoor air pollution.

The IGI plan comprises one of the chief facets of this, and it’s hoped that the hundreds of thousands of commuters who pass through the airport on a daily basis will  be inspired by the beneficial effects of the bountiful foliage to plant their own specimens in their homes and gardens, thus having an exponential effect on the pollution problem.

Mother Nature to the rescue

The health benefits of plants are well-documented; not only have they been shown to improve productivity in the workplace and improve general mental wellbeing, they are also believed to have pollution-absorbing capabilities. IGI has specifically chosen species renowned for their natural purification qualities, such as bamboo palm, spider plants and weeping fig, and positioned them across an area measuring approximately 3.9 million square feet around the airport.

“We have been working towards reducing the adverse effects of pollution. For this, we have taken various initiatives to improve the air quality management and emission reduction at the Delhi Airport,” explained a DIAL representative, who added that the airport intends to continue adding thousands more plants to its collection every year.  

“We have extensively planted air purifying plants and trees inside and outside the terminals of Delhi Airport, which has significantly improved the air quality at the airport and its vicinity. The air quality at the airport is also regularly monitored by various authorities.”

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