Saturday, February 17, 2007

Your city is most polluted

Your city is most polluted
Vijay Times

Namma Metro will take another four to five years to become operational. Dedicated bus service is still dream years away. And till then will the Garden City be gasping for clean air? The answer is yes.

According to a study conducted by the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, Bangalore has been rated as one of the most polluted cities in the country. The solution to this crisis is public transport.

The study published recently revealed that public transport can make a dramatic impact on energy demand and emissions in Bangalore.

The study was carried out to measure the energy efficiency and climate change considerations for on-road transport in Bangalore, Dhaka and Colombo to evolve policies for transportation, energy demand and emissions over the next fifteen years, by 2020.

Interestingly in the Silicon Valley, an increase in public transport share from 62 per cent to 80 per cent can lead to fuel saving of 765,320 tonnes of oil equivalent, or 21 per cent of the fuel consumed in the baseline case.

The long traffic jams and bottlenecks on roads can be avoided.

Among other advantages of investing more in public transport sector

nA 23 per cent reduction in total vehicles

nFreed-up road space equivalent to taking off nearly 418,210 cars from roads

nMake mobility on roads much smoother in the city.

nCarbon dioxide emissions can drop by 13 per cent

nParticulate Matter can drop by 29 per cent and Nitrogen Oxides by 6 per cent, thereby helping the environment and making people breathe better.

Standards needed

The booming car fleet industry in India does not have any fuel economy standards to check how fuel efficient our cars actually are, which will only lead towards a serious energy crisis in the country. The CSE study on the fuel economy in the transport sector has made suggestions for the forthcoming Union Budget, proposing to raise taxes on all cars, enforcing mandatory fuel economy standards and imposing environmental cess on diesel cars.

“We need to reinvent our patterns of mobility and ensure fuel efficiency of our cars. We must introduce fuel economy standards and mandate a roadmap for the future. Many countries, including China have introduced such standards, primarily for energy and environmental security,” said Anumita Roychoudhary associate Director of CSE.

Two-stroke autorickshaws using adulterated 2T oils and buses as well as cars using diesel as fuel are the most polluting vehciles in the City.

There are about 20 lakh twowheelers plying in the City. Among them, 95 per cent are running on four-stroke engines. Thus they are less polluting vehicles in terms of sound and air. But the remaining 5 per cent of two-wheelers which are running on two-stroke engines are causing pollution, say Karnataka State Pollution Control Board officials. Somashekar, president of Bangalore Auto Driver’s Union, blames Regional Transport officials for not adhering to the norms of registering autorickshaws running on four-stroke engine with LPG in the City for the pollution.

“As autorickshaws running with two-stroke engines use ‘Lal Gouda’ 2T oil (adulterated oil’s nick name) are emitting more sulphur and nitrate content, pollution is on increase” he opines. Though the State government has made it mandatory to register autorickshaws running on four-stroke engines, the RTO officials are not adhering to this norm, he alleged.

Don’t expect CNG for 10 more years

Why is Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) not available in Bangalore? Because there is no underground cross-country pipeline to bring CNG to Bangalore. Its cost of transportation is very high, and it is also very difficult to handle CNG.

According to various oil PSUs dealing with CNG, though there are plans to bring CNG to Bangalore, it may get delayed by another 10 to 12 years.

An official of private oil company dealing with auto LPG said that as no power generation plants are using CNG in Bangalore, it is difficult to make CNG available in the City.

“Power generation plants making use of CNG will give away the extra stock of CNG for auto use. As there is no power generation plant making use of CNG in Bangalore, the availability of CNG cannot be ensured in the City”, he explained.

What is the alternative? Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). According to oil PSU officials, it is easy to transport LNG and also to handle it.

According to them, laying of pipeline to bring LNG to Kochi and Coimbatore has already started. Bangalore also falls in this map. Within a short period of time, LNG will be reaching Bidadi which will be used for power generation, the officials said.


Post a Comment

<< Home