A study on air and travel-related pollution loads caused by urban transport has ranked Kochi as the 5th cleanest among the 14 Indian cities.
The study carried out by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi, looked at the quantum of toxic emissions of particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) and energy consumption from urban commuting practices in the select cities. The analysis, titled “The Urban Commute,” was released in Kolkata on Friday.
Besides the megalopolises of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, the cities of Ahmedabad, Pune, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kochi, Bhopal, Vijayawada and Chandigarh were assessed for the pollution parameters. The critical indices of motorisation, the volume of travel demand based on the population, the share of different modes of transport in meeting the travel demand were also taken into account. The quality of vehicle technologies and transport fuels was also considered for the comparative analysis, according to a communication from CSE.
The analysis ranked Bhopal, Vijayawada, Chandigarh and Lucknow as the top four cities regarding the overall emissions and energy consumption. The rankings, according to the agency, indicated the choices that the cities should make to promote sustainable commuting and avoid the worst practices.
Kochi was ranked the 5th in terms of NO2, CO2 emissions and energy consumption for urban commuting. Toxic emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides as well as energy guzzling and heat trapping CO2 emissions from the urban commuting was the highest in Delhi.
The CSE, according to the communication, carried out the comparative and diagnostic analysis to find out how the cities, which held sizeable shares of India’s urban population, were positioned in the race for clean and low carbon mobility.
The presence of particulate matter beyond the permissible levels can cause respiratory ailments such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart diseases and cancer. Breathing air with a high concentration of NO2 can irritate airways in the human respiratory system. Exposure over short periods can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, leading to respiratory symptoms such as coughing and wheezing or difficulty in breathing, said the communication.