“There has been a significant increase in the number of vehicles in the city . The transport sector is one of the main contributors to pollution in Pune. In 2010, it accounted for 30% of total PM10 emissions and it has gone up to 36% this year,“ said Gufran Beig, SAFAR programme director and senior IITM scientist. In comparison, the increase in PM10 emissions from the transport sector in a city like Delhi was 26%, he said.
Black carbon and PM2.5 levels, which include fine dust particles that can only be seen with an electron microscope and are the more dangerous to health, have also increased similarly .
In 2010, the more stringent BS-III and BS-IV norms were introduced for vehicles registered in Pune. This has resulted in new vehicles, added in the last five years, causing much lesser pollution than older vehicles. Without the new norms, the increase in pollution levels would have been even higher.
“All four-wheelers sold in the city have to comply with BS-IV norms, whereas all two-wheelers have to comply with BS-III norms. These are more stringent than the BS-II norms that were in place earlier,“ explained regional transport officer Jitendra Patil.
In the last five years, the number of vehicles in the city has increased from about 19 lakh to over 29 lakh “All 10 lakh vehicles tha were added to the streets comply with the higher stan dards of emission,“ Pati said asserting that if it were not so, pollution figures in the city would have been even higher.
“Older vehicles tend to pollute more and that is why we are levying an additiona environmental tax on vehicles that are more than 15 years old. The tax is set at Rs 3,000 for petrol cars, Rs 3,500 for diesel cars and Rs 2,000 for two-wheelers,“ Patil stated.
However, lack of public transport facilities remains the key reason for rising pollution levels. If alternative mass transit systems weremade available, there would be fewer vehicles on the streets, he added.
Source : TOI