Friday, January 25, 2008

Auto pollution in B`lore doubles in 10 years

Auto pollution in B`lore doubles in 10 years
BS Reporter / Chennai/ Bangalore January 25, 2008
Rapid growth of vehicular population in Bangalore over the last decade is the biggest contributor to emissions of both greenhouse gases and health-damaging pollutants.

According to the study by Enzen Global, a energy and environment consulting firm, and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) under the title - ‘Greenhouse Gas Inventory of Karnataka — Bangalore City: Road Transport Sector’, greenhouse gases and health-damaging pollutants emission, are increasing at an alarming rate.

The report predicts that carbon emissions in the city if left unchecked are likely to double over the next decade.

Chairman KSPCB H C Sharatchandra, releasing the report, said the estimated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which was 1.01 million tonnes for the year 1997, increased to 2.26 million tonnes in 2005-06. If the present trend continues, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from road transport sector will be about 4.06 million tonnes for the year 2017.

“Vehicle emissions from transport sector contributes 51,221 tonnes of carbon monoxide (CO) and about 2,467 tonnes of particulate matter (PM) annually, which are a major health concern,” he added.

Uma Rajarathnam, head-environment practice at Enzen Global, who initiated the study, said, “While there are a number of factors contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, in cities like Bangalore increasing vehicular population plying through narrow and badly-laid roads is a significant contributor to both greenhouse gases and health-damaging pollutants.”

“A fair reduction in the number of personal vehicles through the use of public transport is certain to impact emission levels. Other measures should be in the form of more stringent emission compliance norms, encouragement of the use of more fuel-efficient vehicles,” she added.

A distinctive in the form of a special tax could be introduced on vehicles which are not fuel efficient. The growing number of two-wheeler population should be checked and this can be done efficiently when an efficient public transport is in place, she further added.

Poorly-maintained old vehicles are also a major contributor to the high emission levels. Phasing out the old vehicle, inspection and maintenance for meeting the emission norms will help in improving the air quality.

Traffic management can also reduce emissions arising due to congestion and slow vehicle movement.

Use of cleaner fuels like CNG, LPG blending of ethanol or bio-diesel should be encouraged especially in public vehicles like buses and three-wheelers as this will considerably reduce emission levels, she added.


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