HYDERABAD: Rising air pollution in Hyderabad has garnered many voices of protest, especially from the well to do and educated lot in the city but when it comes to reducing pollution not much enthusiasm has been observed from this section of the populace.
Carpooling does not find many takers in Hyderabad although around 14 per cent of Hyderabad’s vehicular traffic is due to cars owned by individuals.
Automobile exhaust is a major contributor towards air pollution, particularly for the Particulate Matter (PM) pollutants which can affect human health and also cause environmental problems like smog.
Of the more than 90,000 cars in Hyderabad close to 57% are diesel run, which are more dangerous as they emit high volumes of PM, black carbon and poisonous gases.
Carpooling is effective, finds study
study on how carpooling will impact the vehicular density in Hyderabad was recently published. It reported that car pooling will result in decrease of vehicular density on roads close to 50 per cent and will also ease the traffic. The study was conducted on five stretches of roads between Shamshabad and LB Nagar through Aramgarh, Owaisi Hospital, Sagar Ring Road and LB Nagar.
For example, the study reported that vehicle flow on the Shamshabad to Aramgarh road stretch will decrease from the present 9,688 vehicles per hour (veh/hr) to 3,920 veh/hr. It also reported that the number of vehicles on a one kilometre stretch of road will go down from 1,392 to 560.
Carpool not being taken up in big numbers
There are around three to four major carpooling mobile applications active in Hyderabad and each of them get only about 400-600 rides per day. Most of it is from professionals who work in companies located in the IT corridor area, where thousands of people travel by car everyday.
In the city, there are very few who either take help of these apps for carpool or carpool with friends. A look into cars stuck in traffic jams will reveal that most of those who commute by their car travel alone.
One initiative which created lot of buzz is Car Free Thursdays (CFT) that was launched in Cyberabad region in 2015. While it is still being continued with help from some enthusiastic volunteers, the initial buzz surrounding the campaign has fizzled. A carpooling company associated with CFT has shut down citing financial losses.
Vociferous initiatives by the government in promoting carpooling are missing.
Keeping hope alive
Astha Singh, sales and marketing head of Zify, an emerging carpooling startup based in Hyderabad says, “As of now carpooling has not become a habit for many users but once people start realising the economic and environmental benefits of carpooling, there will be an increase. There has been an increase in carpool takers with us since we started operating two years ago.”