Commute-related pollution: Kolkata shines among megacities

Commute-related pollution: Kolkata shines among megacities


  1. The report titled ‘The Urban Commute and How it Contributes to Pollution and Energy’, compiled by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) was released recently.

Important facts:

  • Fourteen cities including six mega cities and eight metropolises evaluated by the CSE for emission of greenhouse gases such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.
  • Six megacities -Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
  • Eight metropolitan cities-Bhopal, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi and Vijayawada were evaluated.
  • According to CSE, air pollution was a national crisis and road transport was the sector showing the highest increase in emission of greenhouse gases.

2. The report pointed out the following facts:

  • Delhi fare at the bottom of the table in terms of pollution and energy use.
  • Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai fared a little better than Delhi.
  • Chennai was the first city to adopt a non-motorised transport(NMT) policy in 2004 that aims to arrest the decline of walking or cycling by creating a network of footpaths, bicycle tracks and greenways.
  • Bhopal emerges as the lowest polluter.
  • In terms of overall emissions and energy consumption, Bhopal was followed by Vijayawada, Chandigarh and Lucknow.
  • The report places Kolkata as the top-performing megacity despite population growth and rising travel demand.
  • Kolkata able to contain motorsiation with a well established public transport culture, compact city design, high street density and restricted availability of land for roads and parking.
  • The report compares Kolkata to Hong Kong and cities in Japan.
  • Smaller cities such as Ahmedabad and Pune ranked below Kolkata for overall emissions.
  • Mumbai, had the highest GDP but a lower rate of motorization compared with other megacities .
  • Metropolitan cities scored better than megacities due to lower population, lower travel volume and lower vehicle numbers.

3. Approaches followed for ranking:

  • The cities were ranked based on calculations of heat trapping (CO2).
  • The study took following two approaches to rank the cities:-

4. Based on overall emission and energy consumption.

5. Per person trip emissions and energy consumption.

Categories : Test 1 (5004)
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