Hyderabad’s air quality, traffic congestion causing concern (Lead)October 7th, 2010 - 9:14 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, Oct 7 (IANS) The level of pollutants in the air and traffic congestion in Hyderabad are on the rise, posing serious health hazards and the hi-tech city needs to wake up, said a report released Thursday.The New Delhi-based research and advocacy organisation Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) analysed air quality and transportation data in Hyderabad and found increased levels of particulate matter (PM) pollution.
The report — “Hyderabad City Dialogue on Air Quality and Transportation Challenge: An Agenda for Action” — released at a public meeting and round table conference, has found increased levels of PM pollution and crippling signs of mobility crisis.
“Hyderabad is in imminent danger of losing out on the gains of its first generation air pollution reforms,” warned the report.
Maximum air pollution in Hyderabad is caused by its rapidly growing number of vehicles. The city has 2.6 million vehicles and every year 0.2 million new vehicles are registered - which means 500-600 new vehicles roll out on to Hyderabad’s roads every day. Estimates indicate the traffic is growing four times faster than the population.
“Compared to Delhi, the number of vehicles in Hyderabad is less. But the city is smaller and densely built, and therefore, it is getting increasingly congested, gridlocked and polluted,” Vivek Chattopadhyaya, deputy coordinator, CSE’s air pollution control unit, said.
Despite its growing fleet of personal vehicles, over 70 percent of people use public transport and non-motorised transport in the city.
“Even today, nearly 73 percent of people in Hyderabad take a bus, walk, or use intermediate public transport. This is Hyderabad’s strength and opportunity - the fact that the majority of its residents depend on more sustainable forms of transport. Hyderabad must not commit mistakes like Delhi,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, associate director of CSE and head of its air pollution control and transportation programme.
The CSE has suggested a detailed action plan to help Hyderabad. The plan include strengthening air quality monitoring systems, expediting CNG-based public transport programme, scaling up public transport, ensuring multi-modal integration, building pedestrian infrastructure, introducing a parking policy to reduce congestion and demand for parking.
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