A bus ride can help you breathe easy... here’s how
Indore has moved its commuters from private vehicles to public buses and in the process, it’s air is a lot cleaner and it’s making money too. Padma Shastri reports.
Seven years ago, Indore Municipal Corporation surprised its citizens – even drew jeers – by raising the ‘Clean Indore, Green Indore’ slogan.
For, this city, the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh in the western part of the state, like 54 per cent of Indian industrial townships, was known for its high air pollution levels and no effective public transport system for its 14 lakh residents.
Now Indore has shown the way. And how!
It has India’s only bus transport company, Indore City Transport Services Ltd (ICTSL), to have appointed a Norway-based firm – Det Norske Veritas Certification AS – to get its clean development mechanism (CDM) certified.
Delhi was the first introduce a public transportation project — the Metro rail system — to earn carbon emission credits in 2007. Every year, the Delhi Metro claimed to have saved more than one lakh tones of carbon emission.
ICTSL, set up in 2006, is India’s first public transport company to have claimed certified emission reductions (CER) for a bus service. It now plans to even generate revenues by trading in emission reduction.
Indore’s is a success story that can be easily emulated in other parts of the country, provided there is administrative zeal and political will.
The Central Pollution Control Board data for 2007 said air pollution levels in the busy parts of two out every five big cities and one out of every five towns is higher than the national standard.
On May 27, the Norwegian validator posted the Indore CDM report on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website to invite objections and suggestions from stakeholders and experts. UNFCCC is a global treaty to reduce carbon emissions. India has the mostnumber of CDM projects (1,275) in the world registered with UNFCCC.
In the report, ICTSL claimed to have cut down 36,502 tonnes of carbon emission annually.
According to UNFCCC, companies that have reduced pollution levels can sell certified reduced emission at Rs 600 a tonne to those who’ve failed. The laggards pay the performers to avoid hefty fines.
ICTSL is also widening the BRTS network to keep smoke-spewing three-wheelers off city limits and encouraging people to
leave their vehicles at home and board a bus.
What’s more, work on the state’s first dedicated corridor for high-speed BRT buses has began along a 14-km-long stretch to further reduce vehicular pollution. The BRT corridor is expected to be over by the year-end.