Commute to tech cos responsible for pollution in Bangalore

One fifth of the commuters and households in Bengaluru are found to have produced half of the carbon dioxide emissions in the city, according to a study. Commute to tech companies has largely been held responsible for the CO2 emissions.

The study was jointly conducted by the Indian Institute of Science, University of Melbourne and Chang’an University.

In comparison with Central China’s Xián, the south Indian city seemed to have fared well as the same amount of commuters produce 70% of the total emissions there. Commute emissions from these cities was largely influenced by car availability and household location.

Among all the sectors, most of the CO2 emissions were because of transportation to IT companies, not just in Bengaluru but in Hyderabad as well. In fact, Greater Bengaluru recorded 43.48% and Hyderabad 56.86% of emissions from travel related to tech companies.

Around 60% of the urban passenger transportation in the two cities was “commute traffic”, which is travel to the workplace and back.

Lack of strengthened public transport system, haphazard growth and unplanned urbanization contributed to wide use of private vehicles, which in turn led to carbon emissions.

The study is based on spatial data collected though Geographic Information System on factors like commuting mode, trip distance, frequency, household and workplace location data. Also, socio-economic data like annual income, household tenure, car availability, age, work-type and education level of the household members was collected.

“Vehicular occupancy is a measure of the total number of people occupied in a vehicle at a given time. Increasing it by means like car-pooling can almost halve the emissions,” said Dr. T.V. Ramachandra, a member of the research team, who is an associate faculty at the Centre for infrastructure at IISc.

Bengaluru’s emissions can be blamed on the vast urban sprawl and the presence of large two-wheeler traffic. Also, car availability, higher household income and employment in multi-nationals contributed greatly to the CO2 emissions. The study found that Bengaluru lacked in public transport to places off city limits and distances to the bus stop made the situation worse.

A denser and compact urban pattern would have made way for shorter commuting distances and reduction in emissions. But the study reveals that due to poor planning, majority of the commuters have to travel long distances.

“Public transport is very weak in Bangalore. Xi’an has better public transport options like metro and dedicated bus lanes. Hence more people use the public transport,” said Ramachandra.

To tackle the situation and reduce dependency on cars, transit-oriented development, where rail and road network is developed from the outer areas of a city to inner areas, should be adopted, the researchers said.

Credits Live Mint

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