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Higher CO2 emission to affect air quality in Kochi

May 24, 2010
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KOCHI, India. Annual Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission in Kochi due to vehicular movement is 7.65 million tonne. The estimation was made in the pre-feasibility study in urban transport sector of Kochi by the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA). The study has assessed that around 25 per cent of the emission can be avoided in the city with improved traffic conditions. The increased level of CO2 from the vehicles to the atmosphere will have an adverse impact on the air quality and public health.

The pollutant emission levels in most of the cities in India, including Kochi, have gone up substantially owing to the fast growth in vehicular stock. Carbon monooxide (CO) emitted by the vehicles contributes to 90 per cent of the total emissions followed by hydrocarbons, the report said.

The growing trend of emissions observed in Kochi was due to the fact that the vehicles were used for extended lifetime without proper maintenance and excessive traffic congestion. Ill-maintained vehicles tend to emit more pollutants than others. Improper inspection and maintenance, use of poor quality fuel, poor road conditions and increased congestion also add to the emissions, according to the report.

The accuracy of emission inventory depends upon the availability of reliable local data such as the number of on-road vehicles, fleet characteristics, vehicle utilisation and driving patterns. The data for growth in vehicular stock under different categories was collected from the vehicle registering authority in Ernakulam. The information about vehicle utilisation and driving patterns was not readily available. Hence, a primary sample household survey was conducted to understand the vehicle utilisation, according to the CDIA report.

To understand the driving pattern and vehicle density at different intersections, a vehicle density survey was conducted and discussions with select vehicle owners were held.

Distances between select traffic intersections were also travelled to understand the traffic pattern and congestions between two intersections, the report said.

The transport system for passenger movement in Kochi consists of public transport modes like bus, rail and water transport, intermediate public transport modes like van, taxi and autorickshaw and personalised transport modes like car, motor cycle and bicycle.

Presently, mass transport within Kochi is mainly by bus transport.

However, there has been a rapid increase in personalised and intermediate public transport modes, the report said.

Like other Indian cities, two and three-wheelers occupy a significant share in total vehicular stock. This is due to the socio-economic status of the majority of the population.

The growing vehicular stock results in increased carbon emissions and the transport sector contributes a major share of environmental pollution, the report said.

Source: The Hindu May 24, 2010

Reposted from: http://beta.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/article436863.ece

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