This can seriously compromise the effectiveness of this emergency action needed to control the peak pollution levels during winter. Design the programme to make a difference to the air quality of Delhi.
Two-wheelers contribute 31 per cent of particulate load from vehicles and should be included in the programme
Freed road space will be an opportunity to improve efficiency of public transport
CSE recommends preparation and release of augmented bus and metro plans
Agreements to remove toll barriers for taxis, autos and buses across NCR needed
CSE recommends measures for safety of cyclists and walkers
New Delhi December 24, 2015: Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), while extending support to the emergency action to reduce vehicle numbers on the road through odd and even formula, has expressed disappointment at the range of exemptions granted to different vehicle segments – most notably the two-wheelers and single women-driven cars. This creates loopholes and leakages in the programme that can compromise the overall effectiveness of the programme.
CSE estimates have shown that two-wheelers, because of their staggering numbers, contribute as much as 31 per cent of the total particulate load from vehicles. If this segment is left out and a sizeable number of cars are also allowed because of the exemption granted to single women drivers, the overall effectiveness of the programme will be compromised. It cannot act as an emergency measure to bring down the peak pollution level. CSE would like to urge the government to bring two-wheelers within the mandate of this programme.
The government must take into account the fact that once this programme gets implemented and personal vehicles numbers on the roads are halved, road space will be freed up for more improved operations of all buses, autos and taxis. The existing and the augmented bus numbers can do more trips and carry more people. Currently, the fleet utilization of available bus fleet in Delhi is very poor, and a large number of bus trips are missed because of congestion. This reduces the overall system efficiency of the fleet. “With traffic volumes halved, bus services can be augmented. Moreover, additional buses, pooling and sharing of two-wheelers and cars will further improve the overall carrying capacity of the available fleet,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, Executive Director, CSE.
CSE said that this programme will have to be enforced with seriousness of intent and to make a difference to the air quality of Delhi. “This is an opportunity in the city to create and test out the plan for augmented public transport services that can be sustained even after the programme is over. This will help Delhi catalyse longer-term solutions to the mobility crisis that is worsening the air pollution impacts. Policy and public support is critical at a time when there is at least one death per hour due to air pollution-related diseases and every third child in the city has impaired lungs,” said Roy Chowdhury.
To make this programme a success, CSE recommends:
Release route-wise plan for augmented bus and metro services. Reserve lanes for buses and improve feeder service to connect the last mile. Publicise routes and time tables for buses and feeders and introduce express services for NCR towns.
Coordinate with autos and taxi associations to provide organized services in different zones. Prevent surge pricing and enforce metering.
Ensure safe access for walkers and cyclists.
Expedite reciprocal agreements with the governments of the NCR to remove toll barriers on buses, autos and taxis.
Encourage and disseminate information on car pool and ride sharing to institutions and RWAs.
For further information, please contact Vrinda Nagar, CSE Media Resource Centre, at 9654106253/ firstname.lastname@example.org