Key facts :-

Kanpur is the largest city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is spread over an area of 260 sq km with a population of 25.51 lakh. The population is expected to increase to 48 lakhs by 2030 which amounts to adding a whole new Kanpur in 30 years. Even though it had originally grown as an industrial town, manufacturing is shrinking in this city. The city has strength in terms of heavy usage of cycling and walking but due to neglect the city is losing this advantage. Air pollution levels are one of the highest in the country. The city requires hotspot measures to check pollution and protect public health.


Air and mobility facts


Vehicle: Galloping numbers

  Air quality trends – Annual average levels of PM10 and NOx
 graph    graph
Congestion: Personal vehicles clog the streets but NMT is often blamed Average journey speed close to 20 km per hour   How people travel? Maximum people are on foot, pedals, buses and autos






Public action:


Policy action

1.) Public awareness


2.) Citizens forum for environmental improvement in a participatory way


3.) Campaigns to stop environmental degradation


First generation action has taken roots. The city has yet to meet the clean air standards. Policy decisions and action so far in the city

Action on vehicles:

The city has introduced Bharat Stage Euro IV norms for vehicles in 2010

  1. Strengthened PUC system with new equipment and norms;

  2. CNG programme for autos, buses and other vehicles have been established;

  3. Phased out old vehicles -- >9 year old buses, >7 year old tempos, >10 year old autos, and >15 year old maxi cabs.

  4. Only three wheelers with catalytic converter/ scrubbers allowed

  5. New buses introduced;

  6. Entry time of transit commercial vehicles on GT road restricted

  7. Battery operated three wheelers are being encouraged. 

Action on industry:

  • 12 industries closed and three issued notices for non-compliance;

  • Panki thermal power station has installed bag filters/ ESP. Fly ash is reused;

  • Open burning of biomass and solid waste banned in municipal area…...

Public awareness

Urban Environment Development Society: This network of civil society groups and volunteers are working towards building public awareness to build public pressure for policy action on clean air, mobility and other urban issues.

Action: For an effective action plan regular and timely action is needed. Therefore accountability of the work needs to be done and periodic reviews are very important. This organization has made efforts for an overall improvement in solid waste management including door to door collection and safe disposal which otherwise is burnt, with public participation. UEDS is also involved with activities of Kanpur Parivartan Forum. This forum regularly meets and discusses the people’s problem and the solutions and carries out improvement on the ground as well. Capt Tripathi says that it is crucial citizens of Kanpur take action so that they can breathe clean air.

Capt S C Tripathi, head, Urban Environment Development Society
Contact: sc_tripathi@yahoo.com, sc020141@gmail.com



Citizens forum for environmental improvement in a participatory way

Kanpur Parivartan Forum: This is an initiative of informed and concerned citizens of Kanpur who believe in working together towards making continuous holistic improvements in their city. They aim for a a vibrant, transparent and participatory democracy. Supported by TiE UP, the "Urban Environment Development Society" (U.E.D.S) with the cooperation of Kanpur Nagar Nigam and help of eminent citizens & general public "PARIVARTAN" for a Clean, Green, Pollution Free Kanpur project has been started.

Action: Parivartan highlights the inadequate infrastructure facilities for a modern urban center, dusty congested roads with no drains or pavements among others. In July 2010 they organized a panel discussion on Air Quality in Kanpur. The forum raised public health challenges of polluted air and it was pointed out that smoke and dust are major reasons for air pollution in Kanpur.  The sources of air pollution in the city are – vehicles, industry, use of poor quality fuel in homes (coal, wood, kerosene, cow dung), open burning of garbage, excessive use of generators, very poor road conditions, traffic congestions and encroachments. They have urged for citizens participation. The forum also highlighted that measures like car pool and use of bicycles whenever possible can also help a lot.

Kanpur Parivartan Forum


Campaigns to stop environmental degradation

Eco Friends: They are working over last fifteen years on critical issues of environmental degradation. Although the key issue for Eco Friends is protecting the river Ganga from various sources of pollution. Eco Friends has been involved in generating mass awareness and deepening of national and international public debate on pollution-related issues, mobilizing the local communities in sustained high-pitched campaigns among others. The organization has also organised awareness programme in schools and colleges on air pollution challenges in Kanpur.

Eco Friends