Chennai ranks fifth in carbon emissions from the transport sector among 54 South Asian cities, according to a study done by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiative.
Disclosing the findings of the study during a conference on ‘Creating Carbon Neutral Chennai: Planning for Integrated Freight Movement’ here on Wednesday, ICLEI research officer Ali Adil said the city’s emission levels in transport is much higher than Kolkata and Delhi. The study also states that Chennai has a per capita emission rate of 0.91 tonnes of carbon dioxide, while its total emissions for the year is 3.82 metric tonnes.
This is mostly due to the fact that use of motor vehicles for commuting and carrying goods has increased significantly in the last few years. As against 12.5 lakh registered vehicles in 2001, there are now approximately 35 lakh registered vehicles in the city.
Earlier, experts called for integration of rail, road and water transport for integrated freight movement. S N Srikanth, senior partner, Hauer Associates, said that diverting freight from road to rail and waterways could help reduce the cost of movement and promote sustainable development.
Citing various countries as examples, he stressed the need for a comprehensive transport policy to integrate road, rail and water transport modes besides the need to use Chennai’s three water bodies to ferry freight. “With the expansion of roads proving costlier due to high land cost, there is a need to increase the potential of waterways,” he said.
V Sumantran, vice-chairman of Ashok Leyland stressed the need for integrated freight mobility and said there was a need to access data and system to plan logistics movement with the help of technology.
Highways and minor ports department secretary T K Ramachandran highlighted how Vision 2023 is crucial for the city in terms of planning for the future and referred to the various projects enunciated by his department.