NEW Delhi Addi and Courtney

Waste management

Waste management in Delhi is not ideal. The infrastructure to collect trash is weak, sometimes things don't make it to the landfill. Even when they do, there are still issues. Delhi had one landfill that was built in 1994 but when it filled to capacity it had to petition to create new ones in 2015. Also, garbage is kind of dumped there and not treated properly. Thus is decomposes and releases methane (highly flammable gas). This leads to accidental trash burning. There is also a lot of purposefully done trash burning as well. Sanitation workers often go on strike.

Trash Site in Delhi, source: Daily Mail

Many people are hurt by the landfill's close proximity to residential areas. This disproportionately affects poorer people who have less political power. Also, ragpickers work in the landfills, children play there, and people have to travel through them to get places. “Often we cut ourselves on bits of discarded glass or metal” said a 12-year-old about himself and his brother in an interview to the Hindustan Times.


1) Location of Haryana State 2) The Munak Canal

55% of the city's water comes from the Munak Canal in the Haryana state of India (between Punjab and Uttar Prattesh). This year, the canal stopped providing water because of security issues/protests/corruption. This revealed infrastructure issues in the city and hurt a lot of people.

The wealthier people in the city get water from underground wells. However, people living the slums of the city often get water from rivers that contain lots of pollutants or raw sewage, leading to severe health issues for many. On April 19 of 2016 Delhi's tap water was declared unsafe. **see notes on water pollution for an explanation of pollution in the sacred Yamuna River**

Explanation of potential risk to water supply:

Age Structure:

India's population pyramid shows a huge surge in population as there are many young people who will soon approach an age where they will also have children. It is important that population growth soon slow. It is hoped that through female empowerment and sexual education this can be achieved. Protection and contraceptives are slowly becoming a greater part of the country's culture.

India can be classified as a stage 3 demographic transition stage country because the population is still growing a lot but it looks like the fertility rate may be dropping. However, death rates are also dropping because, even though the health services are not as advanced as in other parts of the world, medicine is advancing and saving many lives as the country becomes more industrialized.

See below for a tour of a hospital in New Delhi; note a lot of advanced medicine, etc.. it's very clean and hygienic. Places like this are one of the reasons the death rate is dropping so much.

Social Structure:

Though not officially still part of Indian law, the Caste System (a long running social hierarchy) is still very influential in Indian society. Though the persecution of the "untouchable" caste happens more in rural areas, it explains a lot of the inequality in cities.

In most of India (except in the southern region of Kerala) families are patriarchal. The men make decisions for the family. In cities like Delhi this tradition is less strong but very much there. People often have a lot of children as they want a boy (again less in cities but when it occurs it contributes to overcrowding, etc...

Population Momentum

Population explosion in India is a myth created in the West by the Malthus philosophy, stemming from an irrational fear of large human population.

Declining fertility rates

Preventing girls’ marriages below 18 alone would immediately reduce the fertility rate to below replacement level. Teen-marriages and teen-pregnancies are the major cause of population growth in the developing nations.

Annual population growth rate: 1.4%

50 years ago: 3%

country-wide awareness about small family size.

2 major causes: poor access to contraceptives and early marriages resulting in early pregnancies, particularly in the rural areas.


In New Delhi there are a variety of buildings. There are many cultural monuments, slums, and nice apartment buildings. The architecture is very decorative.

IPAT Equation:

I (Environmental Impact) = Population x Affluence x Technology = 302,363 x 3,580 x 2,432.18 = 2.64274 x1012

Energy Sourcing:

70% of the cities energy comes from fossil fuels (coal, lignite, petroleum, natural gas). India has the third largest coal reserves in the world with 255 billion tonnes of hard coal spread over 27 major coalfields in India. Despite this, India and New Delhi aspires to use more sustainable energy like solar, wind, biomass, HydroPower or nuclear (uranium, thorium) power. Wind power development began in 1990 and now India has the fifth largest installed wind power capacity in the world.

Pollution Factors:

New Delhi was named the post polluted city in the world by CNN in November 2011.

Measurements taken at the US Embassy in Delhi put the city's Air Quality Index at 999 on Monday, off the standard chart, which finishes at 500.

Screenshot of a live air quality index map of India. Updated Dec. 12 9:00 a.m.

Burning of waste and crops, vehicle emissions, and dusts from construction sites all contribute to air pollution.

Two women shop at Khan Market. Credit: CNN

At Khan Market (a bizarre in Delhi) there are even shops that sell masks to protect people from air pollution.

credit: Hindustan times

Two policemen wear masks when getting around because the pollution is so bad.

There is also a great deal of water pollution.

Credit: NPR

The sacred Yamuna River that is very polluted. In the first picture, people cremate a body next to the river. The white chunks that look like ice are actually factory waste (chemicals etc..) that are dumped into the river. These have detrimental health effects on much of the population, disproportionately affecting the urban poor.


India's 2013 GDP per capita was 1,498.87 USD

The country's GDP is about 1.9 trillion USD

The GDP of Delhi itself (the country's capital) is ₹451,000 crore (67 Billion USD)

Sustainable plans:

Under growing pressure to join in an international accord to battle climate change, India long-term plan to reduce its rate of planet-warming greenhouse gas pollution and to aggressively ramp up its production of solar power, hydropower and wind energy.

Talking about what does and doesn't work: will speak with class and ask them + guide a discussion. Will discuss responses with resident of Amritsar (in neighboring province of Punjab) who frequently travels to New Delhi.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.