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CNG best option to make Mumbai green

india Updated: May 10, 2007 00:02 IST
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Calling for a mass conversion of public transport vehicles in Mumbai to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), a World Bank research paper states that though there have been emission control policies in the city since 2002, there was greater need to convert all the existing vehicles that do not fall under this regulation into CNG to control motor vehicle emissions in the city.

According to the report, most of the fuel-driven vehicles in Mumbai have been retired, converted into CNG or upgraded to Euro emission norms, except the city’s municipal buses (BEST), by a number of policies since 2002. The report explains that the key element to reduce emissions in Mumbai would be to first convert the fleet of BEST to CNG. This would itself result 14 percent of total emissions from transport.

Other solutions include levying a license fee on private vehicle ownership and increase fuel prices to totally discourage their use to control motor vehicle emissions in Mumbai, according to the paper.

The report titled -- Impact of Policies to Control Motor Vehicle Emissions in Mumbai, India – a copy of which is with HT, states that two-wheelers and cars constitute three quarters of the 15 lakh vehicle fleet of Mumbai.

“Mumbai, like many Indian cities, has a serious air pollution problem caused, at least in part, by its passenger transport sources. Between 2000 and 2002, annual average of particulate matter in the air was higher than in Mexico City. But nationally, the emissions have been much lower in Mumbai due to a lesser density of vehicles as compared to that of Delhi,” the report states.

“In many ways, Mumbai is more fortunate than other Indian cities. It has an extensive electric train network rail that ferries around 6 million passengers daily, a big municipal bus system that ferries around 4.5 million passengers every single day. The rest of Mumbai’s passenger transport system comprises school and private company buses, taxis and three-wheeled autos,” the report authored by Akie Takeuchi, Maureen Cropper, and Antonio Bento of the University of Maryland states.

According to the 2001 census, nine per cent of households own two wheelers and eight per cent own a car as compared to that of Delhi where 28 pc of household own two-wheelers and 13 pc own a car.