New Delhi: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has said that trucks account for 12 percent of air pollution.
It has also said that fume emissions from heavy vehicles are considered to be one of the major reasons for air pollution rising in Delhi, and therefore, it comes as no surprise that Delhi is tagged as one of the world's most polluted cities.
According to Polash Mukherjee, a researcher with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) who is a specialist on clean air, sustainability and mobility, road dust, vehicular emission, industrial point source and biomass account for toxicity in the air.
He added that "As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), diesel emission is considered as a Class One carcinogenic and diesel emission coated with dust creates huge damage to human physiology.
Anandajit Goswami, a researcher associated with The Energy and the Resources Institute (TERI), told ANI that there is a dire need for ensuring effective compliance of laws related to pollution to address the issue of environmental degradation.
Recalling an incident from his childhood, Goswami revealed that his friend who lived in a slum area of Kolkata and his father was a truck driver transporting rice across the country. That friend's father used to give information on how each state of India looked like, whether it be Bihar, or Andhra Pradesh, or Maharashtra. But at the same time, they were informed also about how the truck used to move slowly.
The reasons cited for this included bad roads, inefficient technology, poor quality of the vehicle, traffic-related woes such as choke points at entry and exit points of a city and frequent demands for bribes.
Other factors were low salaries and insufficient fuel. Therefore, if a truck driver drove fast and exhausted his fuel, then he had to pay money for refueling from his own pocket. They also had to pay for entering and leaving the city to various officials.
This system prevails even today. Truck drivers don't have the required incentive and will save money wherever they can.
And, this decision to travel at a snail's pace eventually leads to air pollution across cities.
Only an interdisciplinary policy can solve the problem of air pollution.
Goswami said there is a need for policy to resolve all interconnected challenges of environmental degradation that are enmeshed with larger societal challenges.