Vehicular Emissions Remain One of the Major Reasons For Delhi’s Soaring Pollution
Pollution level in Delhi-NCR has shot with air quality falling under the ‘severe plus’ category at several places. People are gasping for breath, flight operations are disrupted, and schools remain shut. The situation is worsening with farmers being blamed for stubble burning. It cannot be disregarded that crop burning and firecrackers are the major reasons for the pathetic condition of Delhi-NCR. However, the Capital cannot overlook the constant source of pollution which is primarily the harmful emissions from the vehicle that puts the National Capital Region always at risk.
The findings of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, under the ministry of earth sciences (MoES) revealed that vehicular emissions have escalated not only in Delhi but also in the entire NCR in 2018-2019 compared to 2010. The reports claimed that the transport sector is responsible for an overall increase of the PM2.5 emissions from 25.4% in 2010 to 41% in 2018 in the capital, and from 32.1% in 2010 to 39.1% in 2018 in the NCR. A four-fold increase in the number of vehicles on Delhi’s roads during the 2010-2018 period has added the woes of the Capital.
The emission inventory report, released by the MoES at the end of 2018 investigated daily data on ‘vehicle kilometre travelled’ (VKT) by different types of vehicles in the capital and found out that the commercial four-wheeler segment, including app-based cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber, was one of the major polluting sources in Delhi in 2018. The report also analyzed that cars from outside Delhi also causes nearly 25-45% of the overall emissions.
The report while analyzing the vehicle movements on 80 roads in Delhi-NCR said, “Every day, vehicle load in eight different entry points of Delhi from other states is nearly 11 lakh. The average speed of vehicles on major roads in Delhi is just 20-30 km/hr leading to poor vehicle mileage and more emissions.” The analysis explored that roads such as India Gate, Kashmiri Gate, Peeragarhi and Sardar Patel Marg, among others, experienced the highest vehicle density on weekends as compared to weekdays. This observation makes it a necessity for the policy-makers to concentrate on deploying public transport buses in such areas.
The findings of the report on overall annual emissions make it an urgent and mandatory case to work towards the minimization of emissions from major sources of pollution which includes, vehicles, industries, power plants as well as construction.
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