Two wheelers contribute to the highest carbon emissions in Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar and Panvel, according to a study done by the National Environmental Engineering and Reseach Institute (NEERI) at Worli.
Mumbai had the highest carbon emissions, with vehicles emitting 15.71 lakh tonne per year, followed by Thane, which reported 9.11 lakh tonne carbon emissions per year.
By 2051, these emissions are projected to increase to 45.73 lakh per tonne per year for Mumbai and 24.27 tonne per year for Thane.
The study found that during peak hours, the carbon emissions increased by 33% to 75 % as compared to non-peak hours.
Worse, most residents in Mumbai and Thane commute by three wheelers or autorickshaws, which are responsible for the highest concentration of hydrocarbon emissions. “The transport sector is responsible for green house gases which must be mitigated as much as possible,” said Rakesh Kumar, head, Mumbai zonal centre, NEERI.
The study conducted in 2009-2010 also found that the nitrogen oxide concentrations are highest in Mumbai (7,012 tonne per year), followed by Thane (6,228 tonne per year) and Navi Mumbai (3,927 tonne per year). “This is because the movement of trucks and buses are high in these regions. Nitrogen oxide is contributed by heavy duty diesel vehicles, followed by diesel cars,” the report said.
The study has recommended the need for synchronisation of traffic signals that could lead to 20% improvement in vehicular movement in 2012 and 40% improvement by 2017. Improvement in public transport systems such as railways and buses, a movement towards bettering fuel quality, support programmes for cleaner vehicles as well as public transport through a clean air fund are some of the suggestions.
“One of the reasons that air pollution reduction plans have not worked is because the public transport system has been suffering due to aspects such as high fuel costs as well low occupancy,” the NEERI report said.