Vehicular emissions, major source of air pollution in Mumbai

By: Sneha Jaiswal

A few days ago, I came across this news about the artificial lungs installed at Khargar in Mumbai that became black in a day because of all the pollution! One day?! I have lived in Mumbai since my childhood and what I am sure of is Mumbai needs to take air pollution more seriously now.

Image by Greg Reese

One thing Mumbai is quite famous for is its traffic that means lakhs and lakhs of cars on the roads. Yes, I am pointing towards vehicular pollution. One of the major contributors to particulate matter and NOx emissions in Mumbai is the vehicular exhaust.

Vehicles emit all dangerous gases and other pollutants, generally known as vehicular pollution. In urban areas, mostly in big, busy cities, vehicular pollution has become a serious problem. You can smell it, but the air which we see seems clear to us, this is because once the initial white smoke comes out of car exhaust and dissipates, harmful chemicals remain in the air but appear invisible to the human eye.

Imagine the effect it has on children. Vehicular Pollution causes 4 million new child asthma cases every year. Yes, you read that right!

The main cause of vehicular pollution is the rapidly growing number of vehicles. The other factors of vehicular pollution in the urban areas are 2-stroke engines, poor fuel quality, old vehicles, inadequate maintenance, congested traffic, poor road condition, and old automotive technologies and traffic management system.

Increasing use of private vehicles over public transport is the major key that emission from vehicles will replace industrial fumes sooner. Studies have linked pollutants from vehicle exhaust to adverse impacts on nearly every organ system in the body.

Traffic congestion increases vehicle emissions and degrades ambient air quality.  An increase in purchasing power means that more people can now afford cars and this is bad for the environment. Vehicular pollution has grown at an alarming rate due to growing urbanisation in India. 

Effects of Vehicular Pollution:

  1. Global Warming
  2. Poor air quality
  3. Acid Rain
  4. Health effects

But, every problem has a solution. Vehicular emissions has one too, provided the citizens are aware of it. Following are some solutions to reduce vehicular emissions:

  1. Carpooling
  2. Discard old vehicles
  3. Maintenance
  4. Electric Vehicles. 
  5. Reducing consumption of fossil fuels. 

We need to work on how to reduce vehicular pollution or else we have no clean air to breathe around. It is becoming a huge concern and we need to start taking steps at individual levels first and go on. 

Sneha Jaiswal

Sneha Jaiswal

Sneha is pursuing engineering and is a part of Fridaysforfuture. She tries her best to live a sustainable life and reduce carbon footprints in all ways possible.

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