Mumbai’s Car Chase Is Making Its Air Dirtier
Living in the Capital might be akin to being in a gas chamber, but things are not much different in case you move to the Financial Capital, hoping to breathe easy. A recently revealed report by theWorld Health Organization (WHO) says the quality of air in Delhi was the worst in the world in 2016 ─ it is the heavy presence of PM10 that has led to Delhi earning this dubious distinction among mega cities that have a population of 14 million and above. Mumbai lies at the fourth spot in the list, with PM10 levels hitting 104 mpcm in 2016.
If Mumbai was not doing as bad as Delhi till that year, it had a great deal to do with financial capital’s greater dependence on public transport. Today, you might be breathing in an even dirtier air if Mumbai or its suburbs are home to you because the city has witnessed a four-fold rise in vehicular population since 2001.
Official data show vehicular population in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) increased from 18.42 lakh in 2001 to 79.71 lakh till March 2018. The city, it seems, is closely following the example set by Delhi, where vehicular population is still higher than the Mumbai metropolitan Region (MMR).
If people were dissatisfied with poor transport facilities, availability of cheap automobile loans made their transition to being their own master quite smooth. Since it is India’s financial capital we are talking about, we must also factor in the rising income levels and the desire to be more independent that is an inherent part of that kind of upgrade. To put it simply, Mumbai is earning more and it would like to travel in privately owned vehicles.
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Considering there are geographical constraints that bind Mumbai (the same is not true of Delhi), managing traffic movement is even more challenging here than in Delhi. When one is stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Mumbai roads getting late to work, etc., one might like to ruminate on whether the private luxury is well afforded. Road congestion is, in fact, limiting your speed while the increase in private vehicles is dirtying the city.