SAFAR’s Emission Inventory finds transport emissions up by 91% - Parisar asks PMC to rein in vehicles

Pune based NGO Parisar which works on sustainable transportation has written to the PMC with recommendations to relook at the transportation policy of Pune. The letter states that while the city continues to take on road infrastructure projects irrationally, the problems that manifest from lack of a holistic vision are taking a turn for the worse.

According to the recently released Emission Inventory for the Pune and PCMC region by IITM through their SAFAR programme, vehicular emissions stand out as a major contributor to its air pollution. It accounts for 45.6% of the sectoral share for Particulate Matter 2.5, and 25.2% for PM10. Particulate Matter, and especially PM2.5 is known to cause serious impacts on people’s health. As per the State of Global Air 2019, overall long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to nearly 50 lakh deaths from stroke, diabetes, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease in 2017. Out of these, 30 lakh deaths are directly attributed to PM 2.5.

Air quality coordinator, Sharmila Deo pointed out that there was an urgent need to monitor the air and mitigate air pollution as there is emerging evidence suggesting that exposure to air pollution worsens the severity of COVID-19 on people's health. “Medical experts have warned that air pollution could be the cause of the next pandemic after COVID-19. After such a grave prediction, it is crucial that substantive actions are taken towards tackling the major sources of air pollution, which are mainly vehicular and biomass burning emissions,” she said.

Trustee, Sujit Patwardhan mentioned that the sheer number of vehicles that has increased in the city in the past 10 years is the main cause of the increase of emissions. Instead of utilizing funds for adding more and more flyovers and widening more roads in the city which are only short-term solutions, efforts should be made to minimize use of private vehicles. He said, “until sustainability projects like betterment of public transport, which includes giving a much-needed impetus to PMPML and reviving the BRTS, increasing cycling and walking infrastructure, implementing the parking policy are not prioritized, any kind of solutions to solve the traffic problems of the city will hit a roadblock. Projects such as the proposed Sinhagad Road flyover estimated to cost Rs 135 cr are resource-intensive and provide only temporary relief. Hence every transport project must align with the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) and must be thoroughly evaluated in terms of whether it leads us towards fewer vehicle kilometres travelled and therefore causing less air pollution.”

The letter points out that many plans and policies are already approved and sanctioned on paper like pedestrianization of Laxmi Road, the Pune Bicycle Plan and the Parking Policy but lacking in execution.


Media Coverage



Stress on investing in public transport to keep vehicular pollution in check - 1st June 2021, Times of India