Air Quality Analysis and Mangement for Patna, India

As the capital of the state of Bihar, Patna is the largest city in the state with 2.1 million inhabitants. The municipality of Patna (Patna Nagar Nigam) consisting of 72 wards, administers the city. The state of Bihar is part of the rich Indo-Gangetic plain, largely supported by agricultural activities and is among the states with the highest population density. To assess air quality, we selected 60km x 30km domain, which includes most of the industrial estates and brick kiln clusters in and around Patna. This domain is further segregated into 1km grids, to study the spatial variations in the emission and pollution loads. There is one coal-fired power plant, located farther from the city, which is not included in this study domain. This research study was commissioned to characterize Patna’s air quality, to support the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) in its endeavor to improve Patna’s air quality. The main objectives of this research study, using the local air pollution as the primary indicator are


•To establish a baseline emissions inventory for the criteria pollutants – particulate matter (PM), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NOx), and the greenhouse gas (CO2) – from all the known emission sources in the city

•To analyze ambient PM10 pollution and associated health impacts; based on dispersion modeling for the Greater Patna region

•To analyze select interventions for health benefits of reducing PM pollution in the city. These interventions are designed for the primary sources in the city, such as transport, industries (including brick kilns), power consumption (diesel generator sets), and road dust

•To identify information gaps while building the emission inventories and conducting the scenario analysis.

(click on the domain image for an enlarged view – The black lines indicate the major roads in the city and the major highways passing through the city. The red dots are the known brick kiln stacks, mapped from the Google Earth open source files for 2013. The shaded blue area is the river Ganges)

What is Air Quality Management

Every city has unique air quality challenges that require customized approaches to monitor and model pollution. Critical pollutants, sources, meteorology, geography, population distribution, history, institutions, and information base vary for every city. The cost of establishing a complex and detailed air quality model is time consuming and computationally challenging. A potential solution is thus to develop tools that are simple, yet customizable and provide a framework to organize and update critical data on air quality. As awareness grows and policy makers are convinced of the need for science-based analysis in an environment of poor information; they can use more resources to develop more complex tools as well as improve institutional capacity. The SIM-air, “Simple Interactive Models for better AIR quality”, family of tools have been developed to use the available information to support integrated urban air quality management.The following video presents an overview of the databases setup for Patna’s air pollution analysis and the a summary of the results.

SIM-air Application for Patna’s Air Quality Assessment – Part 1

The analysis modules are designed to estimate emissions and to simulate the interactions between emissions, pollution dispersion, impacts, and management options. These tools and supporting documentation are distributed for free. All the databases, calculations, and interfaces are maintained in spreadsheets for easy access. For the analysis of emissions inventory and health impacts, a database of emission factors and concentration-response functions are included in the tools, which can be adjusted with specific data from cities. The following video presents an overview of the emissions analysis, projections, and results, setup for the Patna’s air quality analysis.

SIM-air Application for Patna’s Air Quality Assessment – Part 2


All the analysis and results are sole responsibility of the authors @ UrbanEmissions.Info. Please send you comments and questions to .

We would like to thank the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (Delhi, India) for their support towards this research.

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