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Chennai second worst in green urban commute trailing behind Bengaluru
A report titled The Urban Commute by New-Delhi based think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) ranked 14 cities on basis of emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide and toxic pollutants and energy guzzle of urban commuting. Chennai was ranked 13 — second last, trailing behind Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Bhopal topped the list for lowest overall emissions and energy use form urban commute with Delhi on the bottom, with Chennai above the national capital. The study highlighted the explosion in motorisation. “It had taken 60 years — from 1952 to 2008 — for the number of registered vehicles in the country to reach 105 million. But thereafter, the same number was added in six years — between 2009 and 2015. At the same time, the share of public transport in overall transportation modes is expected to decrease from 75.5 per cent in 2000-01, to 44.7 per cent in 2030-31,” stated the report.
The New Delhi-based think tank’s report revealed that Kolkata and Mumbai emitted the least among six megacities, including Chennai, due to high usage of public transport and walking. Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai scored poor due to a lower share of public transport when compared to Delhi but scored better than the capital city, due to total travel volumes are comparatively lower given their population levels. “With growth and without adequate action, they can get worse in the future,” warned the report.
Speaking to DT Next, Nashwa Naushad, Associate-Urban Development, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), said that Chennai is on its way to improving its public transport systems, which already witnesses a high level of ridership. “The MTC buses already have a daily ridership of 48 lakh, in addition to the rail with Metro having 50,000 ridership. To get more people to shift from private vehicles to public transport, we need to improve the quality of the existing system to ensure comfort and also improve connectivity in the form of last mile connectivity. We need to have better footpaths to enable people to walk to the bus stop or metro stations and a cycle sharing system. Parking management is critical because if people are forced to pay for parking, they will eventually think twice before taking out their vehicles,” said the expert.
Increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector is highest among all other sectors in India. The research throws light on the critical need for cities to change their policies. Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE, said, “This review has become necessary as greenhouse gas emissions from transport—though the third highest currently among all sectors—has recorded the steepest increase. This is also responsible for health-damaging toxic exposure. Growing dependence on personal vehicles for urban commuting can lead to irreversible negative trends and damage. This ranking proves that for clean and low carbon mobility, cities need policies to stop urban sprawl; reduce distances between residence, jobs and recreation through compact urban forms; scale up integrated public transport, walking and cycling; and put restraints on use of personal vehicles to avert pollution and climate crisis.”
- Increase in greenhouse gas emissions from transport sector highest among all other sectors
- Urban traffic is also the source of very high health damaging toxic
- Bhopal tops for lowest overall emissions and energy use from urban commute
- Kolkata and Mumbai emit least among six megacities due to high usage of public transport and walking
- Megacities of Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai score poor
- Among personal transport, two-wheelers dominate in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru