Wednesday, December 17, 2014

In Delhi - 1 in 7 Own a Car and 1 in 3 Own a Motorcycle

One out of seven Delhiites owns a car on an average while one of three persons has a bike in the national capital, as per a Delhi Government report. According to the statistical report released today, more than 24.74 lakh cars and jeeps plied in the national capital in the period between April 2012 and March 2013, and their number increased by 1.55 lakh to 26,29,343, in 2013-14. A total of 5.19 lakh new vehicles hit the city roads in 2013-14 as against 3.36 lakh in 2012-13.

As per Census 2001-2011, the population of the national capital is around 1.67 crore. "On an average, out of seven Delhiites, one person has his own car or jeep while of three persons, one city resident possesses one bike or scooter in the national capital," the report said. The report also stated that as on 2013-14, there were 78,686 taxis while 40,947 buses, including ambulances, plied in the national capital. According to the Delhi government, there are 91,840 auto-rickshaws reported till 2013-14, up from 86,838 in the previous year.

Dismayed at the increasing level of air pollution in Delhi, the National Green Tribunal had on November 26 barred all vehicles which are over 15 years old from plying in the national capital. More than 29 lakh vehicles will go off the roads following the NGT order banning such vehicles.

Read more at Economic Times

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Vehicles Idle More Than 20% of the Time in Delhi

An IIT-Delhi study has revealed that vehicles in the capital don't run but crawl for a considerable part of their travel time. The research jointly carried out by Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Program at IIT and Desert Research Institute, Reno, has used GPS logs of buses as well as speed and fuel consumption readings of two-wheelers, three wheelers and cars to arrive at some shocking findings. Cars were found to be running at less than 4 kmph for 24% of the travel time. While travelling at this speed certainly defeats the purpose of using a motorized mode of transport, it also pollutes the city's air immensely.

If one considers more than a million cars running at similar speed, they may be wasting about 2.5 lakh litres of fuel every day while idling at traffic snarls. The emissions from such long idling time are obviously massive.

For buses, the research team used GPS logs for two days (November 1-2, 2012) from 941 state buses covering most of Delhi's road network. The GPS data for buses is archived by DIMTS. A similar centralized system is not available for other transport modes, so the team collected data using a "floating car method". A mix of 10 professional car drivers, 20 professional three-wheeler drivers and three researchers using two-wheelers drove around the city with a GPS device on the dashboard between 6am and midnight. The total distance covered during the exercise was 2160 km for cars, 1,210 km for three-wheelers and 650 km for two-wheelers. Of the total travel time of vehicles, idling time for cars was found to be 24%, three-wheelers 18%, buses 37% and for two-wheelers it was 20%. The team defines idling to be the time spent by the vehicle running at less than 4 kmph speed.

 Read more @ Times of India

Friday, December 12, 2014

NOx and PM Pollution Down by 30%, if Personal Vehicles are Cut by 50% in Paris

Paris restricts car and motorcycle use - alternate driving days based on registration number (BBC)

If these plans sound drastic, it’s because the problem is, too. Central Paris is still traffic-snarled and often overlaid with toxic fug, evidence of a pollution splurge that the French press claims reduces the average Paris metro area citizen’s life expectancy by six months. In the past year, Paris has already taken some unprecedented measures to combat the problem. During a pollution spike this March, the city went as far as banning cars with odd-numbered license plates from entering Paris proper in a bid to cut city traffic. Coupled with free public transport, this measure had a perhaps surprising effect: It actually worked, with nitrogen dioxide and particulate levels dropping hard—by as much as 30 percent in places.

Real time air quality information from European Cities.

Since coming to power in March, Hidalgo has kept on a roll with anti-pollution measures to back up this tough stance. She’s already started getting rid of city buses that run on diesel, a particular national bugaboo in France because previous state policies heavily promoted its use. Now its greater particulate and nitrogen dioxide emissions have provoked an official backlash, and Paris wants engines burning the fuel off the roads. It’s only fair to point out that by creating 25 percent of Paris’ particulate pollution, road transport is just one source of the city’s problem. Another substantial chunk—23 percent in total—comes from heating with wood fires. You might expect the city to deal with this problem first—and in fact, they have. As of January 1, 2015, all wood fires will be banned within Paris proper.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Air Pollution at Public Places in Delhi is Getting Worse

The air you are breathing through the day may be far worse than what the government's pollution monitoring tells you. Because we often spend long hours near emission sources--on footpaths, along heavily congested roads, in an autorickshaw in peak traffic and even in parks during morning walks.
To assess what our real exposure may be like, TOI, in association with Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), spent a day monitoring hourly PM 2.5 (fine, respirable particles) on CSE's portable air quality monitoring device in front of schools, hospitals, shopping areas and traffic cop booths.

The idea was to understand what kind of air pollution levels children on their way to schools or patients outside hospitals may be exposed to. The hourly PM 2.5 averages logged at these locations were compared with the ambient air quality monitored by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC)'s monitoring stations near the locations.

The results were very disturbing -outside Mother's International School on Aurobindo Marg, for instance, the average for 8 am to 9 am was 718 micrograms per cubic metre! While there is no official safe standard for an hourly average, the 24-hour average for PM 2.5 in India is about 60 micrograms per cubic metre. Inside All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) campus, between 9.10 am and 10.10 am, the hourly average was 493 micrograms per cubic metre. Considering that patients with low immunity go to the hospital, they may be exposing themselves to more complications in such conditions.

Read more @ Times of India