What makes Chandni Chowk the most polluted traffic intersection in the country? The fact that it is an artery clogged with motorised vehicles.
“Vehicles stuck in congestion emit five times more noxious fumes than those moving freely,” says Anumita Roychowdhury, Associate Director, Centre for Science and Environment. “Any vehicle that is stuck in a jam produces more gases...even if run on CNG,” she adds.
“The congestion is largely due to non-motorised vehicles standing idle on the road,” says Sanjay Bhargava, a trader who filed a PIL in Delhi High Court for banning cycle rickshaws in Chandni Chowk.
But is it wise to wipe out zero-emission vehicles like rickshaws? “If Chandni Chowk needs 500 rickshaws, it has got around 10,000. The rest just impede traffic flow,” he says.