New Delhi, India: A recent study by a research group, UrbanEmissions.info, revealed that a fifth of a car’s traffic time in Delhi, India, is spent idling or crawling at less than 4 kmph due to heavy congestion on roads and too many signals. The speed data across the NCR was collected by students of IIT equipped with GPS devices. So far, they have logged 120 hours on the road travelling to Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Dwarka and across South Delhi. They plan to collect data for around 1,000 hours of motoring. “We use an algorithm in the GIS to merge data and map it,” said Sarath Guttikunda, co-director of UrbanEmissions.info.
Speaking to an Indian daily, Guttikunda said, “A car running at less than 4 kmph is only as fast as, or slower than, a person walking. We are trying to understand how often cars run at such speeds. We found that cars crawl at 4 kmph for almost 24 minutes in two hours of driving. The wastage of fuel is immense.”
The study is being conducted with an aim to understand how the city drives – its acceleration and deceleration pattern. “This would also give us an idea of real-time emissions and our exposure to pollution. We would get a clear picture at the end of six months when we complete the study.”
Environment expert Anumita Roychowdhury stated, “Delhi is seeing frequent increases in emissions. These findings reinforce the studies that have been done at various traffic intersections where vehicles move very slowly”. Roychowdhury, executive director for research and advocacy at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) added, “If our city gets so congested, it’s (the pollution) going to be unsustainable and is going to aggravate public health problems. There are increased emissions, and fuel consumption is very high if the car runs at such a slow pace so often. This has been substantiated by many other scientific studies.”
Source: Times of India