Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Green Delhi

We were stuck in traffic near Kashmere Gate in Old Delhi. But I was surrounded by green. Green buses, that is, running on Compressed Natural Gas.
There was a bullock cart next to us (greener than the bus?). I couldn't resist photographing the white of the bullock against the colours of the bus. Dramatic, don't you think?

"Propelled by Clean Fuel", I read on the side of the bus. I remember how difficult it was to push the clean fuel initiative through. But in 2001, displaying remarkable firmness, India's Supreme Court ruled that Delhi must replace its entire fleet of outdated buses with pollution-free vehicles powered by Compressed Natural Gas. It was a tough move, and although some people kicked and screamed, it got done. Delhi's air quality improved dramatically.

Last year, though, there were studies indicating that the quality of air had worsened again. The Center for Science and Environment (CSE) published a report in November 2007, suggesting that pollution levels had jumped from 115 to 136 micrograms per cubic meter. CSE blames it on the rapid increase in the number of diesel-powered private vehicles.

The Delhi government is fortunately not ignoring these reports. It is doubling the number of CNG buses from 3,000 to 6,000. It has also introduced a new type of CNG bus, a fancier more modern looking version, that is disabled friendly. And recently, it has started air-conditioned buses on some routes.
Apart from buses, there is of course, the now famous Delhi Metro, which has made mass rapid transit possible in Delhi, and is contributing significantly to pollution reduction. While I sometimes despair for India's infrastructure, there's always something positive that ensures I don't lose hope completely!



Nice one.
When I was in Delhi in December last, after many years I was impressed by the quality of the air there, comparatively.

Uranus said...

It just shows that India is a third world country. Cows produce plenty of methane gas. The only solution is to reduce the population to 50% of what it is now which is not going to happen. Indian cities are the most polluted in my experience.

Swarna said...

It was great, travelling by the Delhi Metro. We have been here hardly 2 weeks, and our trips outside the residential complex has been only by the metro. Hope this becomes a family habit!
May cows live long, and may the Delhi Metro grow longer! :)

Anonymous said...

How many of us impose it upon ourselves to use public transport or car pool?
A change in attitude is the need of the hour.

kochuthresiamma p j said...

lovely picture. tradition and modernity:-)
mumbai too made it mandatory for the cabs to change the fuel-it has made massive difference in the air we breathe there.
but we still have a long way to go. with private vehicle multiplying astrnomically, pollution is going to be under no control.
like anonymous said, a change in the attitude is the need of the hour. but that change can be brought about only by a legislation. we as a people lack civic sense.