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Agra Air Action Plan launched on 1st June 2019, prepared in collaboration with Clean Air Asia.

Guidance Framework

Is a Framework prepared through a series of consultations by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Clean Air Asia was developed to provide guidance in implementing the long-term vision for urban air quality in Asia.

A. Air Action Plan

  • Agra Air Action Plan

Air Action Plan are set of measures and initiatives that the State Governments and Departments along with the inclusion of NGOs and CSOs undertake to provide a clean and healthy environment to the citizens as envisaged in the Constitution of India. 

The Agra City Action Plan has laid down short- term and long-term plans for tackling pollution in the city. Under various had such as tackling vehicle emission, industrial pollution there mix of short – term and long – term plans. They are plans to mitigate resuspension of dust, road design improvement, burning of open waste, construction, and demolition activities etc. (Page 82 – Page 91) (Page 29 – Page 37)

  • Smart City Plan

Under the Government of India Smart City Mission, Agra is one of 100 cities which has been chosen. In the approach of the Smart Cities Mission, the objective is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and decent quality life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment. The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas to make them more citizen friendly and self-sustainable.

Agra Smart City vision is based on the aspirations of its people and the analytical assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the city. The list of citizen suggestions included themes such as “tourist-friendly”, “memorable”, “livable”, “culturally-vibrant”, “economically-vibrant”, “protect and celebrate heritage”, “urban mobility”, and “sustainable”. (

The name ‘SMART AGRA’ very cleverly and innovatively is an acronym. Each letter stands for a goal and a vision. This is the Strategic Plan.  

  1. Social Inclusiveness 
  2. Mixed Use Development 
  3. Aesthetic and Heritage Conservation 
  4. Robust Infrastructure 
  5. Transit – Friendly and Safe 
  6. Attractive Tourist Destination
  7. Green Habitat 
  8. Resilient Economy
  9. Accountable and Transparent Governance (Strategic Plan) 

They also have Area- Development Plan and a Pan City Plan. (Area Development Plan) (Pan City Plan) 

B.Monitoring Network of the city 

There is 1 Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring in Agra, which is installed in Agra Nagar Nigam Office (Sanjay Palace) and according to the Air Action Plan 2 Manual Ambient Air Quality Stations namely at Bodla and Nunhai. 

It is surprising as the Taj Trapezium Zone Area (Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan (shared report) states that there are 8 Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations which include 1 CAAQMS, 1 Air Monitoring Station installed by Archeological Survey of India and 6 Manual Ambient Air Monitoring Station)  

Even the Source Apportionment Study done by Urban Emission states that there are 6 Manual Air Monitors and 1 Continuous Air Quality Monitoring System, but neither the Agra Nagar Nigam website, Smart City website or the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board website mentions the names of the six station nor do they give the air quality index.

According to a news articles published in The Hindu dated 19th November, 2018, ‘One air quality sensor for an entire city?’, states there are 8 air quality monitoring stations. Out of these 8, 7 are manually operated and 1 is a Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitor

C. Government Policies, Acts, Laws, Press Release 

1. Central Act and Policies

  • Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, amended 1987,

It is the Principal Act enacted in pursuance of the Stockholm Declaration, 1972 for prevention, control, and abatement of Air Pollution. They were amended in 1987 giving the Pollution Control Boards more authority and power.

  • Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1982

Rules were enacted to support the Principal Act in better management and control of Air Pollution

2. State Acts and Policies.

  • Uttar Pradesh Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1983 

Most states formulated Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules which deal with meetings of the Board and its committees, power and duties of the Member-Secretary and appointment of employees, power and functions of the Board, the State Air Laboratory, the procedure to deal with appeals and the budget. 

  • The region from Agra-Mathura has been declared as Taj Trapezium Zone where no industries can function.

  • Air Pollution Control Notification with regard to Vehicular Emission

  • UPPCB Plantation Drive for mitigation of air pollution and increase in green cover

  • Notification regarding prohibition of Straw Burning in the State of Uttar Pradesh

  • Status Report on Agra City Environment Protection and Pollution Control

  • Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan for Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) Area

The report details out a road map for betterment of the TTZ Area. There are measures which have been proposed and are being implemented.

D.State and National Set Standards

  • National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 2009. 

Ambient air quality refers to the condition or quality of air surrounding us in the outdoors. National Ambient Air Quality Standards are the standards for ambient air quality set by Central Pollution Control board (CPCB) that is applicable nationwide. The CPCB has been conferred this power by the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

A. Source Apportionment Study 

  • The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has initiated a project for monitoring, sampling and analysis for ambient air quality, surface water quality and ground water quality in around 12 Polluted Industrial Areas (PIA’s) in Uttar Pradesh which includes Agra. 



  • Urban Emission has done a study under their programme called Air Pollution Knowledge Assessment Programme for the city of Agra. The study showed that the city needs at least 23 Continuous Air Monitoring Station for a continuous look through on emission. The study also shows that 36% of the pollution is originating outside the urban airshed which suggests that there is a need for air pollution control policies in the Indo – Gangetic plains.


Papers on Source Apportionment


  • Seasonal and spatial variability of secondary inorganic aerosols in PM2.5 at Agra: Source apportionment through receptor models, March 2020, Chemosphere – Awni Agarwal, Aparna Satsangi, Anita Lakhani, K. Maharaj Kumari 

The study was conducted at sub-urban and rural site of Agra. The main aim  was to characterize Water Soluble Inorganic Ions (WSII) in terms of spatial, seasonal and formation characteristics and identify the major sources responsible for the pollution of WSII in PM2.5 particles using different source apportionment models. WSII showed slight variations in seasonal and spatial characteristics, the major sources of pollution were found to be similar. Four sources were identified as biomass burning (29.1% and 27.4%), secondary aerosols (26.2% and 22.5%), coal combustion (22.3% and 26.9%) and soil dust (22.4% and 23.1%) at sub-urban and rural sites. The results of case study showed that among different types of biomass fuels cow dung cakes showed maximum PM2.5 emissions while LPG showed minimum PM2.5 emissions.


  • Trends Analysis of Ambient Air Pollutants in Agra City 2002 – 2013, September 2016/March 2017, Indian Journal of Air Pollution Control, Volume XVI, No.2 and Volume XVII, No.1 – Kamal Kumar, V.K.Shukla (Page 8 – Page 20) 


  • Source Apportionment of Particle Bound Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons at an Industrial Location in Agra, India, April 2012, The Scientific World Journal – Anita Lakhani 

The study analyses the quantification of 16 US EPA priority Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in total suspended ambient particulate matter collected from an industrial site in Agra using gas chromatography. This study was conducted to apportion sources of PAH in the ambient air. The study reflects a blend of emission from diesel and natural gas as the major source of PAH in the city along with contribution from emission of coal, coke, and gasoline.


B. Pervious Year Trend

  • UPPCB has updated the air quality data from 2015 to May 2020.

A. City-specific studies

  • Characterization, sources, and health risks analysis of PM2.5 bound metals during foggy and non-foggy days in sub-urban atmosphere of Agra, November 2017, Atmospheric Research, Volume 197 – Awni Agrawal, Ankita Mangal, Aparna Satsangi, Anita Lakhani, and K. Maharaj Kumari, study was conducted at a campus site of Agra to determine the metals in fine mode

particles and assess their associated health effects in adults and children during the period from December 2015 to February 2016.

  • Status of Environmental Pollution in Agra Industrial Cluster: An IEPI Approach, November 2017, Pollution Research – Ajit Pratap Singh, A.K. Vidyarthi, K. Madan and Anjaney Singh 

The study throws light on the major factors responsible for pollution in Agra Industrial Sector. The study has been performed using the concept of multi-attribute decision making analysis in order to deal with the various factors associated with different component of the environment. The study concluded that air is polluted in the industrial cluster is because there exist all 3 which substances which show signs of significant systematic or organ system toxicity.

  • Assessment of City Level Human Health Impact and corresponding monetary cost burden due to air pollution in India taking Agra as a model city, January 2017, Aerosol and Air Quality Research – Kamal Jyoti Maji, A.K. Dikshit and Ashok Deshpande 

The study assesses the quantitative estimations of air pollution health impacts and monetary burden on people living in Agra City. The study has been conducted for the period from 2002 to 2014. The model used is an air quality health impact assessment software developed by World Health Organisation ‘Risk of Mortality/Morbidity due to Air Pollution’. The study concluded that the state pollution control authorities of Uttar Pradesh needs to put forward measures to control and reduce PM10 levels in the city to decrease the economic costs of air pollution-related health impact.

  • Trace element concentration in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and their bioavailability in different microenvironments in Agra, India: a case study, July 2015, Environmental Geochemistry and Health – Poorti Varshney, Renuka Saini and Ajay Taneja

Exposure to airborne particulate matter results in the deposition of millions of particles in the lung; consequently, there is need for monitoring them particularly in indoor environments. Case study was conducted in three different microenvironments, i.e., urban, rural, and roadside to examine the elemental bioavailability in fine particulate matter and its potential health risk.

  • Development of artificial intelligence based NO2 forecasting models at Taj Mahal, Agra, January 2015, Atmospheric Pollution Research, Volume 6, Issue 1 – Dhirendra Mishra and Pramila Goyal

This study presents the statistical regression and specific computational intelligence-based models for the forecasting of hourly NO2 concentrations at a historical monument Taj Mahal, Agra. The study reveals analysis conducted for last 10 years air pollution data; the concentration is higher during the months of November. Mainly the study was to test the models used and it was concluded study regression as well as neural network with multilayer perceptron were used for designing the air pollution-forecasting models at historical monument, Taj Mahal, Agra. It gives the better air pollutant-forecasting approaches model based on ANN techniques for modelling continuously hourly time series data with PCA approaches performed better than the MLR techniques at Taj Mahal, Agra. A unique approach, based on general linear models, PCA, was employed in selecting the significant input variables. The model is built on measured meteorological variables and concentrations of the air pollutant concentrations.

  • Ozone distributions and urban air quality during summer in Agra – a world heritage site, October 2014, Atmospheric Pollution Research, Volume 5 Issue 4 – Renuka Saini, Pradyumn Singh, Brij B. Awasthi, Krishan Kumar, Ajay Taneja 

The study analyses Ozone as an air pollutant, which is a photochemical smog and has been acknowledged to have adverse effects on human health, vegetation, and material. Unplanned urban and industrial growth and rise in population are the main factors that had led to air pollution problems. The air mass trajectories have been calculated using the HYSPLIT 4 and FLEXTRA model. The maximum hourly levels of these pollutants exceeded 116.5 ppb for O3, 96.2 ppb for NO2, 16 ppb for SO2, 4.60 ppm for CO and 188 µg/m3 for PM2.5. There is obvious diurnal variation in the concentration of surface ozone which clearly follows the diurnal variation of atmospheric temperature. The effect of wind on pollutants appears to be noteworthy. It was also found that, the maximum average concentrations of SO2 and O3 occurred at humidity ≤30% pinpointing for strong vertical mixing. For CO, NO2 and PM2.5 the maximum average concentrations occurred at humidity below 40%.

  • Measurements of PM10 and PM2.5 aerosols in Agra, a semi – arid region of India, August 2011, Indian Journal of Radio and Space Physics, Volume 40 – P. Gurusumeeran Satsangi, A. Kulshrestha, Aajy Taneja and P.S.P. Rao 

The study analyses the measurement of PM10 and PM2.5 carried out at three locations in Agra. PM10 and PM2.5 were collected by respirable dust sampler and Wins Anderson impactor respectively. The study concluded that higher concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 were observed near St. John’s College followed by Dayalbagh and Balkeshwar for PM10 and for PM2.5 the concentration was higher in Balkeshwar followed by Dayalbagh.

  • Metal concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 particles and seasonal variations in urban and rural environment of Agra, India, December 2009, Science of the Total Environment, Volume 407 Issue 24 – Aditi Kulshrestha, P.Gursumeeran Satsangi, Jamson Masih and Ajay Taneja 

The study analyses the three monthly 24 hours samples of airborne aerosols (PM10 and PM2.5) at an urban and rural site of Agra from May 2006 and March 2008. Weekday/weekend variations of PM10 and PM2.5 have been studied at both monitoring sites. Significant seasonal variations of particulate pollutants were obtained using the daily average concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 during the study period. Three factors were identified using Principal Component Analysis at the sampling sites comprising resuspension of road dust due to vehicular activities, solid waste incineration, and industrial emission at urban site whereas resuspension of soil dust due to vehicular emission, construction activities and wind blown dust carrying industrial emission, were common sources at rural site.

  • Seasonal air quality profile of inorganic ionic composition of PM10 near Taj Mahal in Agra, India, August 2009, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment – Rai Singh, Bhupender S. Sharma and Shiv Nath Chalka

  • Study of size distribution of atmospheric aerosol at Agra, 2001, Atmospheric Environment – R.S. Parmar, G.S. Satsangi, M. Kumari, A. Lakhani, S.S. Srivastava, and S. Prakash

The study measures the size distribution of atmospheric aerosol at Dayalbagh, Agra during July to September 1998. The anions were analysed by Dionex DX – 500 ion chromatograph while atomic absorption and colorimetric techniques were used for the analysis of cations.

B. News Articles 

  • Air Pollution: Quantity of carbon monoxide very high in the air of Agra, Dainik Jagran (Hindi), 19th July, 2020

  • Air Pollution: Agra reaches a satisfactory quality, Dainik Jagran, 18th July, 2020 (Hindi)

  • Air Pollution – Rain washes down pollution, wind quality becomes better, Dainik Jagran (Hindi), 17th July, 2020

  • Air Pollution: Carbon Monoxide higher by 41times and superfine particles higher by 3times mixed in the air of Agra, Dainik Jagran (Hindi), 16th July, 2020

  • Coronavirus lockdown helps Taj Mahal heal, but for how long, The New Indian Express, 5th June, 2020

  • As lockdown eases, air quality drops in Agra, India Today, 3rd June, 2020

  • Lockdown effect: Clean air, transparent Yamuna, The Times of India, 10th April, 2020

  • Agra air exceptionally cleaner following lockdown, India Today, 27th March, 2020

  • 16 UP cities among 25 most polluted in India, Hindustan Times, 21st January, 2020

  • Pregnant women vulnerable to bad air: Doctor, The Times of India, 18th November, 2019

  • Air Pollution: Agra doctor urges health ministry to issue advisory for pregnant women, The Times of India, 17th November, 2019

  • Air Pollution and Water Pollution level in Agra – Mathura touch dangerous, Amar Ujala (Hindi), 17th November, 2019 

  • Authorities install air purifiers near Taj Mahal to battle severe levels of Pollution, Sky Met Weather, 17th November, 2019

  • Air turning poisonous with growing pollution in UP Braj region, India Today, 15th November, 2019

  • Taj Mahal gets two mobile air purifiers to battle pollution, Times Travel, 10th November, 2019

  • Pollution turns white marble Taj Mahal yellow, Air purifier installed, One India, 4th November, 2019

  • NHAI fined over 6 crore for causing air pollution through construction in UP, Business Today, 3rd November, 2019

  • Agra air quality just seven notches away from ‘very poor’ category, The Times of India, 3rd November, 2019

  • Air Purifier Van deployed at Taj Mahal to tackle pollution, NDTV, 3rd November, 2019

  • Tour operators issue health advisory as post Diwali smog engulfs Agra, India Today, 31st October, 2019

  • Agra records lowest post-Diwali air pollution, big improvement over 2018, The Times of India, 29th October, 2019

  • Less noisy Diwali in Agra, but pollution goes up, Zee Business, 28th October, 2019

  • Agra’s air quality slips to ‘moderate’ for first time in Oct, The Times of India, 14th October, 2019

  • Agra: Rainfall brings relief from high humidity, improves air quality, The Times of India, 17th August, 2019

  • Home to three world heritage sites, pollution levels in Agra remain shocking, The New Indian Express Indulge, 23rd July, 2019

  • Green Activists Criticise Clean Air Action Plan for Agra launched by Uttar Pradesh Government, Swachh India, NDTV, 06th June, 2019

  • City of Taj Mahal, Agra launches action plan to combat air pollution, UN Environment, 3rd June, 2019

  • From Delhi to Gurugram to Ahmedabad and Agra, 25 Indian Cities make it to list of 50 most polluted cities in the world, Mumbai Mirror, 5th March, 2019

  • One air quality sensor for an entire city?, The Hindu, 19th November, 2018

  • With causes of air pollution in Agra still unknown, vision document finds fresh opposition, India Today, 3rd October, 2018

A. Urban Local Bodies notification on Air.

B. Communication Portal for local government (e – governance) 

Details with respect to grievance redressal officer has bee uploaded through a notification which gives the contact details of the Officer

C. Public engagement activities. 

A. CAST Study 

B. Technical Knowledge Sharing

A. Way Forward 

B. Tool Kit