At peak office hours, you come out of your home to leave for work. Carrying briefcase and laptop in hand, swinging keys on your finger and you walk up to your car. You pull over on the main road and what do you see.
Today, all office-goers are taking bicycles, shared cabs, vehicles powered by natural gas, buses and trains to reach their respective destinations.
Above we present to you the ideal scenario where there is minimal air pollution and traffic congestion even during peak hours. This may sound too imaginative but we can achieve this through sustained efforts and individual action.
No one wants to wade through heavy traffic every day, bear persistent honking and inhale toxic air. Not to mention the huge impact it will have on the environment, the results of which can surely be seen immediately.
A combined action from individuals and corporates is required on an urgent basis. We’ve already discussed how people can take initiatives to reduce pollution, here’s how corporates can make an impact too:
1. Shared Mobility:
Although many corporates provide shared cabs/mini buses to employees, the number needs to go up. Companies should implement shared cab systems, draw up an efficient pick/drop plan and encourage shared employee transportation system to efficiently reduce air pollution, thereby minimising carbon footprint. This system will effectively reduce cars on the road and help corporates free-up the parking space as well. Besides being environment-friendly, the system will also be easy on the pockets of employees and ensure their safety.
2. Encouraging employees for carpool:
Many organisations have a system in place where employees can invite colleagues, coming from the same area, for carpool. Offices need to promote such systems and encourage employees to opt for carpool. If there are four employees coming from the same area, the carpool system will reduce three cars on the road, thereby reducing air pollution and carbon footprint drastically.
3. Shifting gears to natural gas vehicles:
Even after shared mobility programmes, employees can be reluctant to share a cab due to privacy reasons. Here, companies can educate their employees about natural gas fuel such as CNG and incentivise the same. For instance, they can reimburse for fuel bill in case of a CNG vehicle. This method will provide excellent cost-benefit to employees due to which they may prefer natural gas vehicles over petrol and diesel. Even if companies do not incentivise the plan, individuals can still save a lot of money in travelling. For instance, the price of petrol per litre in New Delhi is Rs 72.01 and the cost of 1kg CNG in the national capital is Rs 46.60. The drastic difference in price will help employees save money and environment too.
4. Provide cabs till metro stations:
Companies can also provide shuttle services to metro/train stations. The step will help employees easy access to public transport at all hours.
Thus, in an effort to reduce vehicular congestion and air pollution, there are intelligent solutions available that can cater to transport needs, sustainably, also keeping rapid urbanisation in focus. UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) expects India, China and Nigeria together to account for 35% of the projected growth in the world’s urban population until 2050.
India needs to take strict actions to curb air pollution and a series of steps, including switching to natural gas vehicles, can help tackle the menace in an efficient way.
* This is a partnered post.