It’s Time to Go Green with Commercial Vehicles in India

Feb 10, 2017 7:45 IST 3282 views

“Environmental Pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented” as by Barry Commoner

Go green is the mantra of a healthy lifestyle but there is a major challenge to it. Today, environmental pollution poses a significant threat to human health. With each passing day, this has become a major challenge to the society. Environmental factors like water, air & soil pollution, chemical exposure, climate change and ultraviolet radiation lead to a large number of diseases and injuries in our everyday life.

One of the major contributors to the environmental pollution is automobiles. The air pollution from the vehicles results from minor problems like irritation of eyes, nausea, headache and cough to major problems like serious cardiovascular diseases. On one hand, the rapid urbanisation is giving a leg up to the Indian economy but on the other hand, this has resulted into extensive vehicular pollution. As per a report by World Health Organisation (WHO), 10 Indian cities fall in the list of world’s top 20 most polluted cities.

The Indian cities that feature in world’s top 20 polluted cities are Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna, Raipur, Delhi, Ludhiana, Kanpur, Khanna, Firozabad, and Lucknow. The vehicular pollution is the prime cause of outdoor air pollution. Inefficient fuel combustion generates a mix of products of atmospheric transformation like ozone, sulfate particles and primary emissions such as diesel soot particles and lead. Especially, the children have to bear the brunt of the harmful effects because of their immature respiratory systems. After China, India is the second most polluted country in the world.

Says Maria Neira, head of public health at the WHO, “We have a public health emergency in many countries from pollution. It’s dramatic, one of the biggest problems we are facing globally, with horrible future costs to society.”

Case Study: Delhi’s Air Pollution

The increasing numbers of vehicles, wastes from the factories pose a challenge to Ministry of Environment here. It is known to most of us Delhi is counted as one of the major polluted cities in the world. The elevated air pollution in the city has resulted into allergies, malformations & birth defects, growth restrictions, and instances of impaired lung function and asthma cases. As per the findings released by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Centre for Science & Environment (CSE) and US-based Health Effects Institute in 2013, India is one of the top CO2 emitters in the world.

70% of total air pollution in Delhi is the result of vehicular pollution. The vehicles emit oxides of nitrogen, carbonmonoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM) and hydrocarbons (HCs). (Published in report, Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Hauz Khas).To control the alarming pollution levels in Delhi, the Delhi state government has done some experimental measures like odd-even formula, increasing fine for traffic rules violation. The vehicular pollution problem is spreading fast to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

The need of the hour is phasing out old vehicles from the road, supply of better supply of fuel, strict emission norms for commercial vehicles. A little effort from our side can make a big difference to the society. So, are we ready to find out some greener alternatives to our public, private and commercial vehicles?

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