Green dream bust? Delhi chokes on CNG

The green colour on autorickshaws is perhaps an indicator that Delhi is the only city to have introduced the CNG and made it mandatory on public transport .
But Delhi is more polluted today than it was five years ago when the CNG was introduced. A latest analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) finds that pollution levels are on the upswing again after a few years of control.
In 2002, when CNG programme was initiated, RSPM or respirable suspended matter stood at 143 microgram per cubic metre. In 2005, they dropped to 115 microgram per cubic metre
In 2006, the levels of RSPM in winters were as high as 350 microgram per cubic metre - which means, more than double.
So what has offset the benefits of CNG? Delhi has more than four million registered vehicles and adds about 1,000 vehicles to its roads every day. Cars fueled by petrol and diesel- fossil fuels that emit toxic gases in Delhi's air.

So what's the solution?
“We need to do something to restrict the number of personal cars. It is really ironical that the public transport meets 60-70 per cent of the transport demand. Our policies are not encouraging public transport. In fact the tax burden on a person traveling in a bus is much higher than one traveling in a car. We are building flyovers for car owners and are not thinking about moving people but moving cars,” says Anumita Roy Chowdhary of CSE.
The automobile industry continues to add flashy models on the roads each day with little thought to how much carbon they emit. Until the government considers a tax for polluting vehicles, Delhi will continue choke in this toxic gas chamber.


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