Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Ease congestion through mass transit system

Ease congestion through mass transit system’
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Relieving traffic congestion by setting up a reliable mass transit system in Bangalore would go a long way in reducing vehicular pollution in the city said Governor T.N. Chaturvedi here on Monday. He was speaking after releasing a book titled ‘Urban Vehicular Pollution Control-- Focus Bangalore’ authored by T.M. Ameer Ahmed.

‘‘I am often told by people that traffic congestion in the city is so bad that it takes them one-and-half hours to reach a destination that I as Governor take 30 minutes. Action follows awareness. All efforts to tackle environmental issues arising out of vehicular congestion and pollution should receive political and administrative support,’’ he said.

Former High Court Judge Justice M.F. Saldanha said that a paediatrician once told him that ‘air poisoning’ in the city had touched such alarming levels that 42 percent of all new-borns need to be kept on respirators for a day or two.

‘‘When I was a sitting judge I delivered a judgement ordering conversion of all autorickshaws to LPG. Adulteration of fuel in autorickshaws was destroying the air. I am now informed that 82 percent of Mumbai and 99 percent of Delhi buses run on LPG. Besides 68 percent of Mumbai and almost 100 percent of autos/taxis run on LPG,’’ he added.

Lamenting that the average cruising speed in the city was 6.4 kmph, he said that only a mass transit system could save the city from the horrors of traffic jams.

He added that monorail as an alternative to metro rail apart from electric scooters and cars need to be considered seriously.

Karnataka State Pollution Control Board chairman Bhoomanand Manay said that all autos in the city would be forced to convert to LPG by December 2005. ‘‘The current problem is the shortage of LPG vending stations. However, number of LPG stations in the city will be increased from the current 15 to 20 by December,’’ he assured. He too said that monorail was a cheaper and environment-friendly alternative to metro rail adding that Board had recommended the former to the government.

Chairman of Indian Society for Environmetal Studies and High Court Judge Justice A.J. Sadashiva said that Bangalore, a city with a capacity to support seven lakh vehicles had been burdened with 22 lakh. ‘‘Add to this the loss of lakhs of trees in the last two decades, vehicular pollution is bound to affect the city,’’ he added.


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