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Old 31st July 2011, 18:27   #16
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Smile Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

Great topic, one which long needed some discussion. Most of the alternatives are already discussed in the above posts i.e.
  • Walk/Take bicycle to work
  • Use car pooling
  • Get PUC done regularly
  • Planting trees ( I do plant 1 tree every year on my Birthday & 1 at the start of the monsoons )
  • Take 2 wheeler to office on some days instead of 4 wheeler on some of the days
Can we add other measures too in this thread? (those that are not related to cars/travel)

Some questions:
  1. Will taking public transport help to reduce carbon footprint? (For example; in Pune many PMT buses are decrepit and long past their useful life, so they cause more pollution than our cars!)
  2. How to create awareness amongst the share taxis, 6 seater rikshaws, who keep their vehicles idling continuously even when they are waiting for passengers?
  3. How to take older, non maintained and smoky vehicles off the road? (Most difficult, should be imposed by the government!)
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Old 31st July 2011, 18:50   #17
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution on check?

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Please note that cycling is no worse than motorcycling in the amount of pollution you get exposed to.
In case of motorcycles you are exposed to these pollutants for a shorter duration of time.

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Also note that a healthy body has a greater degree of immunity and protection available to it. Cycling makes your body healthy.
+1

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Headline is attractive but misleading.
Article assumes, cyclists take polluted roads to travel. If we do cycling, there is choice to take better and greener paths.
If the route is green then I would prefer cycling by all means.
But most of our offices are in polluted cities. And the route to office is even more polluting. At least in case of me.
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Old 31st July 2011, 19:03   #18
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

You do realize that if everyone takes that attitude, we all pollute even more? Commuting by cycle is the best that we can do for the environment. Only then will the cities actually have clean air.
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Old 31st July 2011, 19:06   #19
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

I have started using the metro to go to work. The frequency of metro travel reduces during summers because of the walk from the station to office / from home to station.

I quite enjoy the metro rides Oct-March
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Old 31st July 2011, 19:23   #20
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

1. Car pooling - I know it can be difficult to find people willing to car pool as everyone has different schedules but it is worth trying.

2. Public Transport - This is one area which should be improved but I do not see that happening in the future. According to me Population is the main culprit. Too many people, too many cars. You just cannot have adequate public transport for so many people. Probably the recent IDEA advertisment might be the solution to the problem of population
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Old 31st July 2011, 20:33   #21
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

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In case of motorcycles you are exposed to these pollutants for a shorter duration of time.
I used to think the same. But then...

My office - home distance is 11 kms.
Bike takes 20-25 mins based on traffic.
Car takes 25-30 mins based on traffic.
Cycle takes 30 minutes.

Plus most of the time on my cycle, I have the option to avoid the traffic all together by walking it on the other side of the road.
I don't have to inhale the fumes standing behind other vehicles.

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You do realize that if everyone takes that attitude, we all pollute even more? Commuting by cycle is the best that we can do for the environment. Only then will the cities actually have clean air.
Exactly.
Be the change you want to be.
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Old 31st July 2011, 20:33   #22
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

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On the personal level we can reduce our carbon footprint by following few important process, that I feel, we all can do at various level.

1. Avoid taking motor vehicle to the neighbourhood grocery store where a mere walk will suffice. That will double up strengthening the capillaries deep inside the lungs.
2. Turning off the vehicles at traffic signal if the duration is substantial.
3. Nurturing plants on a window sill can help reduce the footprint.
4. Car pooling anyone?
5. Relocate close to workplace to reduce the commute.
But for car pooling, This is the best set of suggestions in this thread almost anyone can follow, according to me. Turning off vehicles at traffic signals is seriously a neglected thought here. I find the main culprits to be commercial vehicles - they keep idling the engine in spite of being stuck in long traffic jams for 10-15 minutes. There must be some kind of awareness amongst the commercial vehicle drivers to advocate switching off the engine at signals.


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1. Car pooling - I know it can be difficult to find people willing to car pool as everyone has different schedules but it is worth trying.
The problem as you pointed out is the difference in schedules. I had once tried car pooling with colleagues but it never worked out, not even for a month. Car pooling might work if there are 4-5 people from the same area who go to office and return to office at the same time everyday.

Why it doesn't work for some (me included)? If there are 4 people who car pool and go to office, and one person has to leave late/early on a given day - If he/she has brought the vehicle that day, the other 3 are stranded and have to use the public transport bus to get home. If the person leaving late hasn't brought the vehicle, then that person has to take the bus. I don't think it is practical in the IT industry; most of you developers in IT would agree with me, given our unpredictable schedules and deadlines.
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Old 31st July 2011, 21:42   #23
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

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Why it doesn't work for some (me included)? If there are 4 people who car pool and go to office, and one person has to leave late/early on a given day - If he/she has brought the vehicle that day, the other 3 are stranded and have to use the public transport bus to get home. If the person leaving late hasn't brought the vehicle, then that person has to take the bus. I don't think it is practical in the IT industry; most of you developers in IT would agree with me, given our unpredictable schedules and deadlines.
Completely agree with you. It is very difficult to find people who go to work as the same time as you do. That is why this option is not feasible for everyone to follow.

Regarding your point of turning off the car when at signals - I have to admit that I do not follow it. Reason - I am mostly stuck in moving traffic or the so called bumper to bumper traffic. Here we do not remain stationary for a long time but we keep on moving some distance ahead so we cannot turn off the car.

Suppose you are at a signal and you know you will have to wait for 2 minutes for the signal to turn green here also I do not turn off the car. It is for the same reason I do not turn off my computer if I know I will be using it after some time. The process of turning your car on and off again seems a bit harsh on the car. I know my reason is a bit stupid but I get this feeling that the car should not be turned on and off again too much in quick succession. I am happy if someone can remove this myth of mine.
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Old 31st July 2011, 21:46   #24
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

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I find the main culprits to be commercial vehicles - they keep idling the engine in spite of being stuck in long traffic jams for 10-15 minutes.
My guess is, they don't care. Lot of relatively aged commercial vehicles may not be confident to turn off the machine as they might worry if the ignition will stall.

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I had once tried car pooling with colleagues but it never worked out, not even for a month. Car pooling might work if there are 4-5 people from the same area who go to office and return to office at the same time everyday.
Spot on! It works perfectly for 9 to 5 jobs. But, as you pointed out correctly, the dynamics of IT related jobs is a boulder on the path of car pooling.

As a long shot policy option, it would be better to develop clusters around atrial cities and enable for horizontal development. These clusters will absorb some of the pressure from the cities and help prevent chocking up of resources.
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Old 31st July 2011, 21:53   #25
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

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2. Public Transport - This is one area which should be improved but I do not see that happening in the future. According to me Population is the main culprit. Too many people, too many cars. You just cannot have adequate public transport for so many people. Probably the recent IDEA advertisment might be the solution to the problem of population
If you feel there cannot be 'public' transport that is adequate for the population [and I am not entirely disputing that], how can private transport ever cope with the limited road space?

If there has to be hope there has to be public transport.

Cars should be made really expensive, parking in CBD impossible etc. Only then will things improve.
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Old 31st July 2011, 22:03   #26
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

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If you feel there cannot be 'public' transport that is adequate for the population [and I am not entirely disputing that], how can private transport ever cope with the limited road space?

If there has to be hope there has to be public transport.

Cars should be made really expensive, parking in CBD impossible etc. Only then will things improve.
There are plenty of evidence around you to suggest that Public transport will never be adequate to cater to the rising population. If Public transport was adequate I would happily give up my thought of buying a car. I think proper public transport will reduce the number of people trying to own a car and will somewhat reduce the traffic and hence the pollution per person. But I wonder how will public transport improve.
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Old 31st July 2011, 22:27   #27
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

What about office bus. I think many companies do not provide it. It should be made mandatory.

To take the next step. Why not a few companies together subscribe to a transport service. Say a fleet of good Volvo buses. That can save not only pollution but also cars on roads as well as cars on parking space.

In my 1st year of job I used to commute by cycling. But trust me it is easier said than done. Firstly the humid weather of India ensures that you enter the office sweating like a pig. And at the end of day while you need some relaxation, you need to drive down broken roads to get home.
The next thing is safety. In India unfortunately there is no footpath or path for cycles only. If you are cycling your life is at the mercy of Local autowala, notorious buswala and drunken lorrywala. Not to mention the hot blooded youths on the Bajaj pulsar.
Now that I have relocated commuting by cycle is a little difficult. But would still not mind if there were separate roads for cyclists. Manu countries have it. Why cant we?

The advantages are immense-not just limited to pollution and exercise.
You need not worry about parking space. You need not pay fuel bills. Maintenance is next to NIL.

@bblost, Home to office takes 40 min by cycle. 20/25 by bike car. So definitely you spend more time while on a cycle. Also while cycling you are inhaling more as you are working out. I am not trying to contradict you. What I am trying to say is it depends on the route and traffic conditions.
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Old 1st August 2011, 11:46   #28
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

Pollution happens when rate of accumulation is more than dissipation. As individuals if we can minimise wastage of resources, rest will be taken care of on its own.
What is a waste is purely an individual matter. Its very difficult to tell/convince people what to use and what not.
What im trying to say is that, its more kind of habit, which need to be inculcated right at home or in school. Not when people are grown up with desire to have a gas guzzler.
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Old 1st August 2011, 12:19   #29
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

Excellent and hotly debated topic I must confess. Apart from the points discussed above, thought I'll bring in some fresh perspective. We'll all have opined on the various ways we can avoid car pollution but I really don't see any initiative from the government to push things along.

Yes there is CNG / LPG available which reduce emission but availability of these alternate fuels is restricted to Tier I and Tier II cities and that too not many stations offering them. When going on a long drive how many of us can comfortably use CNG (assuming we have CNG cars & don't remember to top it up before commencing on the drive) without the fear of getting stuck in the middle of the highway with no pumping stations around?

How about some initiatives by the govt. for people opting for Hybrid vehicles? i.e. lower road tax or maybe road tax holidays etc. Contrary to this the govt. is actually charging a premium for allowing Hybrids on road.
e.g. Toyota Prius costs 26L while the same starts at 11L something in the US. I understand that there are duties (CBU) but if manufacturers are given incentives to produce hybrids locally, I'm sure it'll result in not only lower pollution but ease the demand on fossil fuels and hopefully some cooling off inflation. Priced correctly I'm sure it'll rake in volumes for the manufacturer given the demand for "kitna deti hai" car in today's times.

Any thoughts fellows?
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Old 1st August 2011, 14:32   #30
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Default Re: What can we do to keep pollution in check?

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But for car pooling,

The problem as you pointed out is the difference in schedules. I had once tried car pooling with colleagues but it never worked out, not even for a month. Car pooling might work if there are 4-5 people from the same area who go to office and return to office at the same time everyday. Why it doesn't work for some (me included)? If there are 4 people who car pool and go to office, and one person has to leave late/early on a given day - If he/she has brought the vehicle that day, the other 3 are stranded and have to use the public transport bus to get home. If the person leaving late hasn't brought the vehicle, then that person has to take the bus. I don't think it is practical in the IT industry; most of you developers in IT would agree with me, given our unpredictable schedules and deadlines.
There is a solution to this problem - hire a vehicle and a driver from a travel agency. The driver would bring his own vehicle and provide pick up and drop to all pooling members at a fixed time everyday.

Those members who can't make it at the scheduled time can use public transport on that day. The others don't have to wait because of one member.

You don't have to drive the vehicle, hence stress levels would be much lower. You can use the commute time to read newspaper or get some work done while commuting.

It would work out cheaper as well because you would be hiring a diesel vehicle. Assuming that you own a petrol car, this option makes a lot of sense economically.

Rohan
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