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Report - Mitigating Air Pollution from Transportation Sources for the City of Bangalore

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Hi All,

A report titled “Mitigating Air Pollution from Transportation Sources for the City of Bangalore” has been prepared. The report is based on an interactive workshop conducted in 28 February 2011 and prepared in collaboration with CiSTUP with inputs from senior government officials. The report was submitted to the Government / Transport Department/Pollution Control Boards. Here is the recommendations part. The entire report, about 24 pages, can be downloaded from the CiSTUP site at:

Suggestions / inputs are most welcome.



The following recommendations are brief. For more details, it is advised to go through the detailed discussion page of the issue of interest.

Page No.




Location of Exhaust

  • Retrofit the current exhaust system by installing vertical exhaust for diesel based heavy duty vehicles such as buses and trucks.
  • All new heavy duty vehicles including buses and trucks must be fitted with vertical exhaust system.
  • Provision should be made for the Metro rail feeder buses to be fitted with vertical exhaust system.
  • Start a pilot project for retrofitting the exhaust system for BMTC buses.
  • Include ARAI as a stakeholder in technical feasibility study.


Old and Heavily used Vehicles

  • Consider implementing Government of India policy regarding banning of vehicles that are 15 years old.
  • Reduce or eliminate old and heavily used vehicles on the road through a survey.
  • Consider monetary incentive programme to trade old vehicles. Analyze the socio-economic impact.


Emission Testing

  • Robust inspection and testing programme through government approved and certified centres.
  • Inclusion of all Criteria Air Pollutants including Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM).
  • Ensure non-tampering of the engines in commercial vehicles.
  • Ensure proper maintenance and calibration of testing equipment.
  • Look into the potential of implementing “no emission certificate no fuel” policy.


Use of Alternate Fuels

  • Public transit buses need to be retrofitted with CNG as fuel.
  • Research the use of alternate fuels for new buses. 
  • Ensure uninterrupted supply of CNG.


Four-stroke Engine Vehicles

  • Increase the number of four stroke engine vehicles.
  • Reduce two stroke engine vehicles through incentives and buy-back programmes.
  • Look into completely banning two-stroke engine vehicles.


Public Transport

  • Expand metro rail system and connect with the suburban rail system.
  • Introduce more buses run by CNG. 
  • Explore the possibility of using battery powered buses on a pilot basis.
  • Provision should be made for the Metro rail feeder buses to run by CNG.
  • Expand metro / mono rail network progressively after careful consideration


Comprehensive Air Emission Inventory for Transportation Sources

  • Develop a comprehensive air emission inventory for transportation sources using correct methodology.
  • This exercise may be expanded to include the entire state of Karnataka.


Fugitive Dust

  • Un-asphalted roads must be asphalted as soon as possible.
  • Build good quality roads with proper maintenance.
  • Remove sand, mud, debris from the asphalted roads during and after construction related activities.


Non Motorized Transport

  • Encourage non-motorized transport such as walking and bicycling in the city specifically within the central business district by constructing bicycle only lanes and tiled or asphalted footpaths for walking.
  • Build bicycle stands at the metro rail stations.
  • Ensure that the footpaths are used for walking only rather than for private parking and gardens, and market place for fruits and vegetables.
  • Build footpaths with tiles or interlocks instead of stone slabs
  • Ensure any repair or upgrade of footpath is done quickly.


Preventing Adulteration of Fuels

  • Authorities must ensure that there is no adulteration of petrol and diesel through proper surveillance, inspections, spot checks and testing of the fuels in the trucks that transport the fuels and in the petrol bunks during the filling to the vehicles. 


Public Participation

  • A massive public relation and awareness campaign including health effects of air pollution from transportation sources must be undertaken for the public to participate in the process.
  • A hotline must be set up to receive information from the public.


Reducing Idling Time

  • A massive public relation and awareness campaign must be undertaken to educate the public regarding idling of vehicles.
  • Vehicles testing to be done during idling process to get a benchmark idling time.
  • Inform public regularly via radio and/or internet regarding the situation of the traffic flow in the city specifically for the high traffic areas during peak hours.
  • Look into other modes of collecting toll rather than having toll booths that potentially may cause extra load of air pollution due to slow moving / idling of vehicles near the toll booths.
  • Perform air monitoring close to toll booths during peak hours. The results need to be analyzed and interpreted carefully for developing any policies.


Traffic Management Measures

  • Promoting the use of public transportation such as buses and metro / mono rail.
  • Encourage car pooling,
  • Expand paid motorcycle parking areas near Metro / Mono rail and Bus stations



Sanjeev's picture

Fugitive Dust : is one of the major issue n all cities

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As the construction work is going on like METRO, BWSSB, Under passes, Flyovers,  their is no control on the soil on the next area, hence dust gets generated which is culprit.

Simillarly where roads are not maintained properly like  service roads left without  tar, vechiles use  playing on that generated huge dust.

Roads are not cleared where ever 2/3 lanes available  like outer ring road,  its almost reduced to 1.5 width due to mud is laying on the edge and at the divider in many places.

These will bring pollution to large extent and with more public transport, things will improve.

Regarding batery operated vechiles,  culprit is battery which we do not have controlled on this at right now.

Also Commuter rail is not mentioned in the report???

n's picture

Location of exhaust and CNG

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Location of exhaust and CNG buses were pet peeves of mine (also in attached doc); hopefully exhausts stop spewing into peoples faces.

Public transport should include seamless connectivity between different modes with maximum convenience to the public.  Why can't metro stations be planned inside one or two floors of TTMCs? Both are being planned and constructed by the same state govt.

The biggest reduction in "fugitive" (?) dust will occur only when grass / sod is planted and maintained at all soily areas like beyond footpaths / sidewalks, below flyovers etc.  No other solution is as effective.  Also, footpaths city and state wide should be standardised to concrete (coloured or otherwise) with joints at appropriate locations to eliminate dust from granite stone crushing and sanding.

Public participation should include public meetings in a defined consulatation period for any major or system-wide projects.  No protests from people not directly affected should be entertained after this period.  Even for people directly affected only legal exceptions should be made for people being out of town or indisposed; otherwise project should proceed as planned and should finish on time.

Traffic management measures will be incomplete without the use of synchronized signals, sensors at signals to measure traffic density and control the lights accordingly and effective road signs (for speed/parking restrictions, destination boards etc.).

Sanjeev's picture

Delhi Metro helps reduce vehicular air pollution, indicates rese

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The Centre for Development Economics at Delhi School of Economics has come up with a research paper claiming that the Delhi Metro has resulted in reduced levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO).

The Centre for Development Economics at Delhi School of Economics has come up with a research paper claiming that the Delhi Metro has resulted in reduced levels of two important vehicular pollutants - nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO).

The research found that the level of CO in the area around ITO, a busy intersection in Delhi, has fallen by at least 35 per cent.

The research paper prepared by Deepti Goel in association with Sonam Gupta from Food and Resource Economics Department at University of Florida in the US was presented at a seminar at Indian Statistical Institute recently.

"Looking at each extension of the rail network as a separate event, it has resulted in three to 47 per cent reduction in NO2 concentration, and a 31 to 100 per cent reduction in CO concentration," Goel said.

"We quantified the effect of the Delhi Metro on air pollution. We used hourly data on four criteria pollutants from 2004 onwards.

Both NO2 and CO are important constituents of vehicular emissions and our findings are suggestive of the diversion effect of the Delhi Metro," she said.


I am interested what had put the figures in DPR of DMRC  for air pollution for Delhi.

Now after such massive extensive METRO  facility for urban transport,, why Delhi still facing worst Air Pollution in these days.

What does the current situation indicates, have w e learnt whats going wrong for pollution level  going high.

Its very  important for Bangalore as we have good gree cover  which absorbs pollution.

Same time bad roads with dust accumulated on the roads and many more, burning of garbage,  making vehilce to run extra Kms for one way issues and many more need to be addressed in Bangalore for improving quality  of air


Sanjeev's picture

Did the Metro help reduce air pollution in Delhi?

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The Delhi Metro, an intra-city electric rail system serving the National Capital Region (NCR), has been operational since December 2002. By March 2012, the Delhi Metro had an operational route length of 167 km.
While a key motivation behind building a mass transit system in Delhi was to ease traffic congestion, it wouldn’t have been hard to imagine that it may have a considerable impact on air quality as well. An improvement in air quality would presumably occur mainly because of the ‘traffic diversion effect’. This refers to the possibility that commuters who were earlier using personal transport such as cars and two-wheelers would switch to the Delhi Metro leading to net reduction in the level of vehicular emissions.
Investigating whether this actually happened becomes particularly important for Delhi because the city is infamous for its high levels of air pollution. On most days between 2004 and 2006, the average levels of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide exceeded the permissible standards set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Such high levels of pollution raise health concerns for the city’s inhabitants. The adverse effects of air pollution on health such as damage to the central nervous system, worsening of asthma and an increase in infant mortality rates, are well documented. Studies conducted by the CPCB find that high pollution levels in Delhi are positively associated with lung function deficits and with respiratory ailments. S.K Guttikunda and J.S. Apte in their book titled (Monitoring & Mapping Urban Air Pollution: A One Day Experiment in Delhi, India) found that about 10,900 premature deaths every year in Delhi occur due to ambient particulate matter pollution. In light of these facts, it is important to examine whether there has been any significant impact on air pollution in Delhi due to the operation of the metro.
Traffic diversion versus traffic creation
Based on transport economics theories, it is not possible to predict whether the net effect of the Delhi Metro on air quality will be positive or negative. The main argument is that along with the traffic diversion effect, there could be a traffic creation effect due to introduction of a new mode of transportation. The latter refers to new demand for travel generated by a faster and arguably more comfortable mode of transport such as the Delhi Metro. For example, new demand for travel could arise if, facilitated by the Delhi Metro, people decide to relocate to the outskirts of the city to possibly benefit from cheaper real estate prices, and then commute longer distances to work. If part of the increased distance is covered using pollution-intensive modes of transport (such as private cars), then this could negate any traffic diversion effect and could lead to an increase in overall level of pollution.
An added dimension that needs to be considered while studying the net effect is the presence of two coal-based power plants within the city limits that were operational during our study period (2004-2006). If operation of the Delhi Metro resulted in increased capacity utilisation of these plants in order to supply electricity for running it, then this could also contribute to higher overall emissions in the city.
Analysing the link between the metro and air quality
In our study, we examine the effect of the Delhi Metro on air quality using data obtained from the CPCB on four pollutants—nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone and sulfur dioxide, between 2004 and 2006. This data is collected at two locations in Delhi—ITO, a major traffic intersection in central Delhi, and Siri Fort, a residential locality in South Delhi. We obtained hourly data on temperature, rainfall, wind speed and relative humidity for Delhi from the India Meteorological Department.
In order to establish a causal link between the Delhi Metro and air quality it is important to compare pollution actually observed in the period after the Delhi Metro became operational with its correct “counterfactual”. This counterfactual refers to the level of pollution in the hypothetical scenario where all other factors that affect pollution remain the same as in the post-metro period, and the only difference is that the metro does not exist in the counterfactual. Any difference between the observed pollution in the post-metro period and the pollution in the counterfactual can then be attributed to the Delhi Metro. To do this, we estimate the trend (pattern over time) in pollution using hourly pollution data over a reasonably long time period which includes the date of extension of the Delhi Metro. If we detect a sudden change in the level of pollution at the date of extension of the Delhi Metro, then we attribute this change to the extension of the Delhi Metro.
Sanjeev's picture

CISTUP report on air pollution mitigating

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CISTUP report on air pollution mitigating


MaheshK's picture

Delhi - Mostly from industrial units

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IMO, Delhi problem is not exactly the vehicles. It’s mostly the legal and illegal industrial units that are around Delhi, say within 80 km. Okhla industrial area itself pollutes a lot. Air pollutants travel long distance. Odd-even would reduce congestion no dobut, but not pollution.  I am watching the data from the air monitoring stns in Delhi. Anand vihar, Punjabi bagh, Mandir marg, RK puram, etc are showing high pollution levels during day time despite odd-even formula. Let the AAP govt give out the correct monitoring data (without manipulation) to the court.  

Regarding the research paper mentioned, I don’t believe anything that is done by those who don’t have the background.  

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