Of transport that can choke

We’ve all lived in, read about and been tourists in cities in India that are said to have severe air quality issues. Yet, as we mask our faces and switch on our air purifiers, we know that we are part of the problem.

Our desire for cars – both as symbols of status and wealth as well as convenience – has jolted the sales of four wheelers across the country. Even though India has a small per capita vehicle ownership rate, issues relating to traffic congestion and pollution are increasingly becoming a matter of public concern. The total vehicle sales (including motorcycles) increased from about 10 million in 2007 to over 21 million in 2016, and the total number of vehicles on the road is expected to nearly double to about 200 million by 2030. While this means more traffic congestion and spending longer hours on the roads, it also means severe levels of air pollution and smog, making it directly into our bodies!

Transport accounts for a third of the particulate matter pollution in our countries, and an even higher proportion of nitrogen oxides. According to the 2017 Global Burden of Disease, some 1.1 million people in India die prematurely each year from diseases directly related to air pollution, making it the fifth leading cause of death in the country.

The picture is grim. If we’d like our cities to have cleaner air for future generations, the choice is clear – Give Up on motorised transport and opt for more sustainable and greener options!

We can contribute to better air. Give up now to give back to our cities and to future generations.

Pledge to give up!