Jacaranda and Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. March 11-12
We discovered this by sheer chance, buried in the website of the Union Ministry of Shipping Road Transport and Highways. This is a public notice soliciting public opinion on the unfinished agenda of the emissions standards roadmap finalised way back in 2003.
Vehicles are a special problem as they emit in the breathing zone of people. A large number of studies are now available that show exposure to vehicle exhaust causes significant increase in respiratory symptoms and lung function impairment, cancer and plethora of other ailments. Indian evidences have also begun to emerge. Congestion further aggravates emissions. Low average speeds due to traffic congestion increases the emissions due to the stop-and-go pattern of traffic flow in congested condition. Leapfrog to clean vehicle technology and fuels and fuel efficient vehicles. Small gains are easily offset by the growing traffic volumes. Indian regulations instead of pushing the automobile industry to catch up with the global best standards, fall short of what the industry is capable of achieving.
Railway minister Laloo Prasad Yadav and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu are the clowns of Indian politics. But think of the actions of the two in the past fortnight and you will begin seeing the difference. Sidhu led the protest for the Bharatiya Janata Party against the fuel price hike by riding an elephant. Effective but clearly stupid. Do excuse my intemperate language but the gall of the politicians to believe we are myopic and their complete lack of leadership in this time of crisis makes me mad.
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) comes out in support of Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s initiative to set fuel economy standards and a labeling programme for cars. Demands immediate implementation as rapid increase in car numbers and steady drift towards bigger cars threaten India’s energy security.