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'Pollution from vehicles at all-time high in Delhi'

india Updated: Jun 03, 2008 01:39 IST
Hindustan Times
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The rising number of vehicles has been choking Delhiites with the heat-trapping gas –– carbon dioxide (CO2) –– in the past 10 years, a new study has found.

The study, by NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), concluded that the rising amount of CO2 is an indication of increasing oil guzzling by newer makes and models of cars at a time when oil-price hike has the Indian economy in a tight spot.

“Older cars can become more fuel-inefficient and emit more CO2 due to poor maintenance and deterioration. But newer cars, even those produced after 2000 and 2005, showing higher levels of CO2 emissions than the older vintages,” says Anumita Roychowdhury, in
charge of CSE’s Right to Clean Air Campaign.

CSE’s researchers studied tests of CO2 emissions by the Automotive Research Institute of India (ARAI) on vehicles produced in different periods –– 1991-96, 1996-2000, post 2000 and post 2005 — to notice the trend.

“CO2 emissions directly depend on the amount of fuel burnt. This hints at increased oil guzzling,” Roychowdhury said.

For Delhi, which has the maximum number of registered vehicles among all metropolitan cities, the signs are ominous because the major part of the

total CO2 load is from the personal vehicle segment, the study said.

Cars and two-wheelers contribute to 60 per cent of the total CO2 load; the total CO2 emission from cars has increased by 73 per cent and that from two-wheelers by 61 per cent between 2002 and 2007.

Buses, on the other hand, contributed to only 20 per cent of the total CO2 load during the same period. “This is significant because buses carry more people than cars. Our estimates show that per capital energy consumption can be eight times higher in cars than in buses,” Roychowdhury said.