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Published : July 24, 2011 | Author : saarth1989
Category : Environmental Law | Total Views : 12004 | Unrated

Saarth Dhingra 4th year law student in Nirma University, Ahmedabad

Future scope of fuel free bikes and automobiles in India

Concept of pollution
Air pollution is the term used to describe any harmful gases in the air we breathe. Pollution can be emitted from natural sources such as volcanoes, but humans are responsible for much of the pollution in our atmosphere. The problem of air pollution was first recognized about 500 years ago when the burning of coal in cities was increasing. About 200 years ago, a large growth was seen in the amount of coal burnt, as the Industrial Revolution took place in Britain. The Industrial Revolution was a fast growth in industry that was based around the use of fossil fuels.

Air pollution has been aggravated by developments that typically occur as countries become industrialized: growing cities, increasing traffic, rapid economic development and industrialization, and higher levels of energy consumption. The high influx of population to urban areas, increase in consumption patterns and unplanned urban and industrial development has led to the problem of air pollution.

Currently, in India, air pollution is widespread in urban areas where vehicles are the major contributors and in a few other areas with a high concentration of industries and thermal power plants. Vehicular emissions are of particular concern since these are ground level sources and thus have the maximum impact on the general population. Also, vehicles contribute significantly to the total air pollution load in many urban areas.

India has made rapid strides in industrialization, and it is one of the ten most industrialized nations of the world. But this status, has brought with it unwanted and unanticipated consequences such as unplanned urbanization, pollution and the risk of accidents.

Reason behind the pollution
Between 1951 and 2001, the urban population has increased from 62.4 million to almost nearing a billion, and its proportion has increased from 17.3% to 55.7%. Nearly two-thirds of the urban population is concentrated in 317 class I cities (population of over 100 000), half of which lives in 23 metropolitan areas with populations exceeding 1 million. This rapid increase in urban population has resulted in unplanned urban development; increase in consumption patterns and higher demands for transport, energy, other infrastructure, thereby leading to pollution problems.

The number of motor vehicles has increased from 0.3 million in 1951 to 37.2 million in 1997 (MoST 2000). According to this data, it can be assumed that the number of motor vehicles have reached above 50 million. Out of these, 32% are concentrated in 23 metropolitan cities. Delhi itself accounts for about 15% of the total registered vehicles and has more registered vehicles than those in the other three metros (Mumbai, Calcutta, and Chennai) taken together. At the all-India level, the percentage of two-wheeled vehicles in the total number of motor vehicles increased from 9% in 1951 to 69% in 1997, and the share of buses declined from 11% to 1.3% during the same period (MoST 2000). This clearly points to a tremendous increase in the share of personal transport vehicles. In 1997, personal transport vehicles (two-wheeled vehicles and cars only) constituted 78.5% of the total number of registered vehicles. Keeping this data in mind, one can imagine today’s present scenario.

India has made rapid strides in industrialisation, and it is one of the ten most industrialised nations of the world. But this status, has brought with it unwanted and unanticipated consequences such as unplanned urbanisation, pollution and the risk of accidents. The CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) has identified seventeen categories of industries (large and medium scale) as significantly polluting and the list includes highly air polluting industries such as integrated iron and steel, thermal power plants, copper/zinc/ aluminium smelters, cement, oil refineries, petrochemicals, pesticides and fertiliser units.

The state-wise distribution of these pre- 1991 industries indicates that the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have a large number of industries in these sectors. The category wise distribution of these units reveals that sugar sector has the maximum number of industries, followed by pharmaceuticals, distillery, cement and fertiliser. It also indicates that agro-based and chemical industries have major shares of 47% and 37% of the total number of industries respectively. The status of pollution control as on 30 June 2000 is as follows: out of 1,551 industries, 1,324 have so far been provided the necessary pollution control facilities, 165 industries have been closed down and the remaining 62 industries are defaulters. It may be noted that in some of the key sectors such as iron and steel, 6 out of 8 units belong to the defaulter’s category in terms of having pollution control facilities to comply with the standards.

On the other hand, cement, petrochemicals and oil refinery sectors do not have any defaulters. Small scale industries are a special feature of the Indian economy and play an important role in pollution. India has over 3 million small scale units accounting for over 40 percent of the total industrial output in the country (CII and SII 1996). In general, Indian small scale industries lack pollution control mechanisms. While the larger industries are better organised to adopt pollution control measures, the small scale sector is poorly equipped (both financially and technically) to handle this problem. They have a very high aggregate pollution potential. Also, in many urban centres, industrial units are located in densely populated areas, thereby affecting a large number of people.

Since 1950-51, the electricity generation capacity in India has multiplied 55 times from a meagre 1.7 thousand MW to 93.3 thousand MW. The generating capacity in India comprises a mix of hydro, thermal, and nuclear plants. Since the early seventies, the hydro-thermal capacity mix has changed significantly with the share of hydro in total capacity declining from 43% in 1970-71 to 24% in 1998-99. Thermal power constitutes about 74% of the total installed power generation capacity. However, increasing reliance on this source of energy leads to many environmental problems.

Brief about vehicular pollution
Most of the trucks and cars these days tend to use the internal combustion for traveling, which burns fossil fuels or gasoline. The process that is used in burning the gasoline in trucks or power cars contributes largely for the air pollution by releasing large amount of emissions in the atmosphere. These emissions are the primary source contributing for the vehicular pollution. Motor vehicles tend to pollute the air during their process of manufacturing, refueling and the procedure of oil refining. Primary pollution from motor vehicles is pollution that is emitted directly into the atmosphere, whereas secondary pollution results from chemical reactions between pollutants after they have been released into the air.

Ingredients of Vehicular Pollution-

The following are the major pollutants associated with motor vehicles:
Ozone (O 3) - The primary ingredient in urban smog, ozone is created when hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides (NO x)—both of which are chemicals released by automobile fuel combustion—react with sunlight. Though beneficial in the upper atmosphere, at the ground level ozone can irritate the respiratory system, causing coughing, choking, and reduced lung capacity.

Particulate matter (PM) - These particles of soot, metals, and pollen gives smog its murky colour. Among vehicular pollution, fine particles (those less than one-tenth the diameter of a human hair) pose the most serious threat to human health by penetrating deep into lungs. In addition to direct emissions of fine particles, automobiles release nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and sulphur dioxide, which generate additional fine particles as secondary pollution.

Nitrogen oxides (NO x) - These vehicular pollutants can cause lung irritation and weaken the body's defences against respiratory infections such as pneumonia and influenza. In addition, they assist in the formation of ozone and particulate matter. In many cities, NO x pollution accounts for one-third of the fine particulate pollution in the air.

Carbon monoxide (CO) -
This odorless, colorless gas is formed by the combustion of fossil fuels such as gasoline. Cars and trucks are the source of nearly two-thirds of this pollutant. When inhaled, CO blocks the transport of oxygen to the brain, heart, and other vital organs in the human body. Newborn children and people with chronic illnesses are especially susceptible to the effects of CO.
Sulphur dioxide (SO 2) - Motor vehicles create this pollutant by burning sulfur-containing fuels, especially diesel. It can react in the atmosphere to form fine particles and can pose a health risk to young children and asthmatics.

Hazardous air pollutants (toxics) - These chemical compounds, which are emitted by cars, trucks, refineries, gas pumps, and related sources, have been linked to birth defects, cancer, and other serious illnesses. The EPA estimates that the air toxics emitted from cars and trucks account for half of all cancers caused by air pollution.

The worst thing about vehicular pollution is that it cannot be avoided as the emissions are emitted at the near-ground level where we breathe. Pollution from vehicles gets reflected in increased mortality and morbidity and is revealed through symptoms like cough, headache, nausea, irritation of eyes, various bronchial problems and visibility. The pollution from vehicles are due to discharges like CO, unburned HC, Pb compounds, NOx, soot, suspended particulate matter (SPM) and aldehydes, among others, mainly from the tail pipes. A recent study reports that in Delhi one out of every 10 school children suffers from asthma that is worsening due to vehicular pollution. Similarly, two of the three most important health related problems in Bangkok are caused by air pollution and lead contamination, both of which are contributed greatly by motor vehicles.

Situation is same in a number of other mega-cities across the globe – be it Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Santiago in Latin America or Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Dhaka in Asia or Ibadan and Lagos in Africa or in cities of Eastern Europe, the erstwhile USSR and the Middle East. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 4 to 8% of deaths that occur annually in the world are related to air pollution and of its constituents, the WHO has identified SPM as the most sinister in terms of its effect on health.

Carbon monoxide, ozone, particulate matter, and the other forms of pollution listed above can cause smog and other air quality concerns, but there are vehicular emissions that contribute to a completely different pollution issue: global warming. The gases that contribute to global warming are related to the chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere. Some of the gases in the atmosphere function like the panes of a greenhouse. They let some radiation (heat) in from the sun but do not let it all back out, thereby helping to keep the Earth warm. The past century has seen a dramatic increase in the atmospheric concentration of heat-trapping gasses, due to human activity. If this trend continues, scientists project that the earth's average surface temperature will increase between 2.5°F and 10.4°F by the year 2100.

One of these important heat-trapping gasses is carbon dioxide (CO 2). Motor vehicles are responsible for almost one-quarter of annual U.S. emissions of CO 2. The U.S. transportation sector emits more CO 2 than all but three other countries' emissions from all sources combined.

Concept of fuel free automobiles
The current vehicles that are powered by gasoline pollute, but as technologies improve and the human way of life changes alternatively powered vehicles enter the automotive industry. These vehicles developed to achieve better gas mileage and to help slow the production of the gasses that cause Global Warming. The hybrid vehicle is one of the newest and most popular alternatively powered vehicles. Hybrid electric vehicles are energy efficient cars or trucks that run on an internal combustion engine of a gas vehicle with the battery and electric motor of an electric vehicle. This results in twice the fuel economy of gas vehicles. These hybrid electric vehicles consume fewer natural resources than gas vehicles and produce almost no emission fumes compared to the standard gas vehicle.

Hybrid cars are one solution to preserving air quality for the future. Hybrid electric cars were created because of the shortfall in battery technology. The batteries that were being made could not produce enough power. These batteries would not sustain long trips with the car. To work around this and onboard generator, powered by an internal combustion engine could be used for long trips. These cars became known as hybrid electric vehicles that are now being mass-produced by companies like Toyota and Honda.

The hybrid cars greatest advantage is that they almost release zero emissions into the atmosphere. These cars use their brakes to regenerate power to the batteries. When the car is slowing down it takes the energy being released when slowing the car down. The result is a use of energy that does not require the car to be plugged in. The cars reduce the dependency on fossil fuels because they are run on alternative fuels.

Hydrogen as Future Fuel-
Hydrogen is seen as one of the important energy vectors of this century. Hydrogen as an energy carrier provides the potential for a sustainable development particularly in the transportation sector. A hydrogen fuelled engine has the potential for substantially cleaner emissions than other internal combustion engines. Other benefits arise from the wide flammability limits and the high flame propagation speed, both allowing better efficiency.

Hydrogen is the most plentiful and ubiquitous substance in the universe, representing about half of all matter, and it is everywhere—in the rocks and soil, in the air and especially in the water that covers three quarters of the globe.

Hydrogen is a gas at normal temperatures. It is highly reactive, combining readily with a number of elements and compounds, the most familiar example being oxygen to form water (H20). The 2H O = H20 (hydrogen plus oxygen equals water) combustion reaction is highly charged, explosive, producing a great deal of heat as a by product, thus making hydrogen a true competitor with fossil fuels as a source of power.

The same reactive quality that makes hydrogen a good fuel source, however, also makes free hydrogen rare in nature—it is almost always found bound to other chemicals. One of the challenges, then, of moving to a hydrogen energy regime is to develop economical ways of freeing hydrogen from the chemicals to which it is bonded so it can be used as a fuel, then returned to nature.

While there are many compounds containing hydrogen and, thus, many methods for its extraction—too many to go into here—the ideal, and certainly most universally available source is water itself. Extracting hydrogen from water is simple enough, in principle, through a technique known as electrolysis in which an electrical current is passed through water breaking down its molecules into their component hydrogen and oxygen ions, both of which can be put to various uses.

The only problem with the water-to-water scenario is that electrolysis, at present, is expensive—hydrogen currently costs about three times as much as it’s fossil fuel competitors. This is mostly a problem of scale, however. As more and more hydrogen fuel applications come on line and the demand increases, mass produced hydrogen costs will drop. Another aspect of the problem, though, is that the cost of electricity for electrolysis is increasing, and most electricity, as discussed above, is produced by environmentally degrading technologies such as coal fired and nuclear power plants or hydroelectric dams.

The hydrogen revolution is, at the moment, at a chicken-and-egg impasse.

Other than a few well-developed, operating prototypes, there are practically hydrogen powered vehicles, machinery or buildings. There is therefore little demand for hydrogen other than for industrial purposes, and it is not available to the average consumer. On the other hand, hydrogen powered equipment is not likely to appear until hydrogen for refuelling is readily available.

The big breakthrough in hydrogen fuel research and development over the past two decades has been the development of an electric hydrogen fuel cell engine. Internal combustion engines are still noisy, full of working parts that can break down and limited in their scope of application—they can only get so big or so little. Most importantly, they are of limited efficiency, converting, at best, about 40 per cent of the fuel’s potential energy into work.

Electric HFCs have none of those limitations. Using hydrogen to generate electricity within a box that resembles a battery, the HFC is quiet, has no working parts and converts a whopping 60 to 80 percent of its fuel’s energy into work. The HFC’s potential scope of application is vast, ranging from tiny flashlight batteries to units capable of powering ships.

Ø India’s Energy Security is threatened by Our Dependence on Foreign Oil:
· India imports a large percent of the oil it consumes; that is expected to grow in the near future.
· Nearly all of our cars and trucks run on gasoline, and they are the main reason India imports so much oil.

Ø Hydrogen fuel Will Help Ensure India’s Energy Independence :
· Through the hydrogen fuel initiative the automakers and energy companies will work together to overcome the technological and financial barriers to the successful development of commercially viable, emissions-free vehicles that require no foreign oil federal government,

· Hydrogen is domestically available in abundant quantities as a component of natural gas, coal, biomass, and even water.

Ø Fuel Cells Will Improve Air Quality and Dramatically Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions :
· Vehicles are a significant source of air pollution in India’s cities and urban areas. Hydrogen fuel cells create electricity to power cars without any pollution and cars using hydrogen as fuel reduce the content of harmful pollutants by large amount.

· The hydrogen fuel initiatives may reduce India’s greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Other emissions reductions could be achieved by using fuel cells in applications such as generating electricity for residential or commercial uses.

Ø Hydrogen is the Key to a Clean Energy Future:
· It has the highest energy content per unit of weight of any known fuel.
· When burned in an engine, hydrogen produces effectively zero emissions; when powering a fuel cell, its only waste is water.
· Hydrogen can be produced from abundant domestic resources including natural gas, coal, biomass, and even water.
· Combined with other technologies such as carbon capture and storage,
renewable energy and fusion energy, fuel cells could make an emissions-free
energy future possible.

Legal Provisions-
The Central and State Pollution Control Boards were set up for enforcement of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Over the years, the Boards have been assigned additional responsibilities which include the following:
Ø Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977.
Ø Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
Ø Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Rules made there under.
Ø Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules1989.
Ø Manufacture, storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989.
Ø Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998
Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000.
Ø Plastics wastes Rules, 1999.
Ø Coastal Regulation Zone Rules, 1991.
Ø Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991.

The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 was introduced as an umbrella legislation that provides a holistic framework for the protection and improvement to the environment.

In terms of responsibilities, the Act and the associated Rules requires for obtaining environmental clearances for specific types of new / expansion projects (addressed under Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 1994) and for submission of an environmental statement to the State Pollution Control Board annually. Environmental clearance is not applicable to hydro projects also.

SJVNL undertakes Environmental Impact Assessment for all projects as a standard management procedure as laid down in The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and also functions within permissible standards of ambient air quality and noise levels as prescribed by national laws and international regulations.

The objective of this Act is to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution, for the establishment, with a view to carrying out the aforesaid purposes, of Boards, for conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions relating thereto and for matters connected therewith.

Decisions were taken at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in June 1972, in which India participated, to take appropriate steps for the preservation of the natural resources of the earth which, among other things, includes the preservation of the quality of air and control of air pollution.

Therefore it is considered necessary to implement the decisions foresaid in so far as they relate to the preservation of the quality of air and control of air pollution.

To counter the problems associated with air pollution, ambient air quality standards were established, under the 1981 Act. The Act provides means for the control and abatement of air pollution. The Act seeks to combat air pollution by prohibiting the use of polluting fuels and substances, as well as by regulating appliances that give rise to air pollution. Under the Act establishing or operating of any industrial plant in the pollution control area requires consent from state boards. The boards are also expected to test the air in air pollution control areas, inspect pollution control equipment, and manufacturing processes.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for major pollutants were notified by the CPCB in April 1994. These are deemed to be levels of air quality necessary with an adequate margin of safety, to protect public health, vegetation and property (CPCB 1995 cited in Gupta, 1999). The NAAQS prescribe specific standards for industrial, residential, rural and other sensitive areas. Industry-specific emission standards have also been developed for iron and steel plants, cement plants, fertilizer plants, oil refineries and the aluminium industry. The ambient quality standards prescribed in India are similar to those prevailing in many developed and developing countries.

To empower the central and state pollution boards to meet grave emergencies, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act, 1987, was enacted. The boards were authorized to take immediate measures to tackle such emergencies and recover the expenses incurred from the offenders. The power to cancel consent for non-fulfilment of the conditions prescribed has also been emphasized in the Air Act Amendment.

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules formulated in 1982, defined the procedures for conducting meetings of the boards, the powers of the presiding officers, decision-making, the quorum; manner in which the records of the meeting were to be set etc. They also prescribed the manner and the purpose of seeking assistance from specialists and the fee to be paid to them.

Complementing the above Acts is the Atomic Energy Act of 1982, which was introduced to deal with radioactive waste. In 1988, the Motor Vehicles Act was enacted to regulate vehicular traffic, besides ensuring proper packaging, labelling and transportation of the hazardous wastes. Various aspects of vehicular pollution have also been notified under the EPA of 1986. Mass emission standards were notified in 1990, which were made more stringent in 1996. In 2000 these standards were revised yet again and for the first time separate obligations for vehicle owners, manufacturers and enforcing agencies were stipulated. In addition, fairly stringent Euro I and II emission norms were notified by the Supreme Court on April 29, 1999 for the city of Delhi. The notification made it mandatory for car manufacturers to conform to the Euro I and Euro II norms by May 1999 and April 2000, respectively, for new non-commercial vehicle sold in Delhi.

Case Law-
Chhetriya Pardushan Mukti Sangharsh Samiti  v/s State Of U.P. and others
AIR 1990 SC 2060 - Sabyasachi Mukharji, C. J. And K.N.Saikia, J.

A letter written to the Court was treated as a Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. The letter written by Chhetriya Pardushan Mukti Sanghartsh Samiti, alleged environmental pollution in the Sarnath area. It was also alleged therein that the Jhunjhunwala Oil Mills and refinery plant are located in the green belt area, touching three villages and the Sarnath temple of international fame. The smoke and dust emitted from the chimneys of the mills and the effluents discharged from these plants were alleged to be causing environmental pollution in the thickly populated area and were proving a serious health hazard. It was alleged that people were finding it difficult to eat and sleep. The Petitioners sought directions from the Court.

Legislative Framework-
Constitution of India- Articles 21 and 32.
Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 6 of 1974.
Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act of No.6 of 1974-Sec. 21.

Having considered the facts and circumstances of this case, the Court declared that prima facie the provisions of the relevant Act, namely the Air Pollution Control Act have been complied with and there is no conduct, which is attributable to the owners leading to pollution of air or creating ecological imbalances requiring interference by the Supreme Court.

The Court observed that "Article 32 is a great and salutary safeguard for preservation of fundamental rights of the citizens. Every citizen has a fundamental right to have the enjoyment of quality of life and living as contemplated by Art. 21 of the Constitution. Anything which endangers or impairs by conduct of anybody either in violation or in derogation of laws, that quality of life and living by the people is entitled to recourse in recourse of Art. 32 of the Constitution. But this can only be done by any person interested genuinely in the protection of the society on behalf of the society or community. This weapon as a safeguard must be utilised and invoked by the Court with great deal of circumspection and caution. Where it appears that this is only a cloak to "feed fact ancient grudge" and enmity, this should not only be refused but strongly discouraged. While it is the duty of the Supreme Court to enforce fundamental rights, it is also the duty of the Court to ensure that this weapon under Art. 32 should not be misused or permitted to be misused creating a bottleneck in the superior court preventing other genuine violation of fundamental rights being considered by the Court. That would be an act or a conduct which will defeat the very purpose of preservation of fundamental rights."

Case Study-
The vehicular pollution problem in the urban areas of the country can be characterised by the following: a) high vehicle density; b) vehicle vintage dominated by older vehicles; c) heterogeneous traffic mix; d) inadequate I&M facilities; e) predominance of 2-stroke 2- wheelers; f) adulteration of fuel; g) improper traffic management; h) poor road conditions; i) high levels of pollution at traffic intersections; j) absence of effective MRTS; and k) various encumbrances on road such as encroachments, unauthorised construction particularly of religious nature. A high level of urban air pollution with vehicles contributing the most has resulted in implementation of a number of policy instruments in the country.

Vehicle emissions are responsible for 70% of the country’s air pollution. The major problem with government efforts to safeguard the environment has been enforcement at the local level, not with a lack of laws. Air pollution from vehicle exhaust and industry is a worsening problem for India. Exhaust from vehicles has increased eight-fold over levels of twenty years ago; industrial pollution has risen four times over the same period. The economy has grown two and a half times over the past two decades but pollution control and civil services have not kept pace. Air quality is worst in big cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, etc.

Solutions: Reduce Air Pollution by changing the design and use of motor vehicles-
The use of cars must be re-defined. Car use has to be considered a privilege, not a right. The cost of environmental damage and reclamation has to be added to the cost of owning and operating a car. Vehicle use should no longer be subsidized.

Reduce number of Vehicles - Urban areas need to set vehicular quotas and issue permits to limit the number of vehicles to control regional traffic congestion and air pollution.

Small hybrid or 100% electric cars are desirable, but make their occupants specially vulnerable when they collide with much larger vehicles. A sane city would separate small, efficient passenger vehicles from buses and trucks.

Improve efficiency of vehicles - reverse the trend to larger vehicles; engineering solutions to emissions of combustion engines. Flex fuel and hybrid cars are a step in the right direction but in small numbers will not have a significant impact on air pollution.

Reduced vehicle use and traffic reform can be a bigger and more immediate remedy for urban air pollution. Improved efficiency of traffic is important. Examples are: dedicated bus lanes and priority for car-pools and vehicles with 3 or more passengers. Traffic can be scheduled to optimize road usage; e.g. commercial traffic at night; large companies can stagger working hours and decentralize administrative operations. Commuting long distances in cars to work needs to be phased out. Single passenger commuting to work should be strongly discouraged.

The most accessible measure of air pollution contribution is the amount of fossil fuel burned.
Recreational driving can be reduced immediately. Car owners need to pay for miles driven and fuel burned on an escalating scale. Each person can have a "free driving" allotment per year and pay increasing insurance and/or taxes on fuel consumption beyond this limit.

Governments can encourage the reduction of vehicular use by:
* Promoting Voluntary abstention
* Increase Public Transit - diversify options and limit access to existing roads.
* Separate commercial and private traffic to increase efficient use of roads.
* Stop building car-oriented roads and highways.
* Replace 30% of the existing roads designed for cars with park-like corridors.
* In cities, build more walking paths, bicycle routes and roads for small electric vehicles.
* Reduce commuting - link residence and business activities by rezoning and rebuilding cities.
* Reward car-pools and car-sharing plans.
* Redefine road use by defining access privileges - no longer a right.
* Road Tolls and increased gasoline and vehicle registration taxes.
* Base car license fees on fuel consumption in the previous year. Use exponential fee rate increase for high fuel consumption individuals.
* Provide generous development grants and tax incentives for all non-polluting transportation alternatives.

Governments can use a combination of
* Voluntary and Reward Schemes
* Compulsory and Penalty Schemes
* Incentives for New Technology and Changes in Industrial Fuel Consumption.

Long term solutions require that vehicles use less polluting energy sources such as bio-fuels, propane and natural gas. I am sorry to say that the marketing of "green solutions" to global warming is becoming yet another scam. One problem is that producing alternate fuels and hybrid cars often requires CO2 emissions that offset or cancel the benefits of improve vehicular design.

The first and most important step towards emission control for the large in-use fleet of vehicles is the formulation of an inspection and maintenance system. It is possible to reduce 30-40% pollution loads generated by vehicles through proper periodical inspections and maintenance of vehicles. I&M measures for in-use vehicles are an essential complement to emission standards for new vehicles. In India, the existing mechanism of I&M is inadequate. Thus, there is a great need to establish effective periodic I&M programmes.

Role of the judiciary-
In recent years, the judiciary has played a prominent role in environmental protection. A number of judgements relating to stringent vehicle emission norms, fuel quality, introduction of cleaner fuels, phasing-out of older vehicles, and shifting of hazardous industries have provided a great deal of momentum to the efforts for improvement of air quality.

Policy gaps-
ü Prevention based environmental policy needs to be strengthened. Issues such as cleaner technology and land use planning incorporating environmental considerations need to be given priority.
ü Effectiveness and impact of various policy measures not assessed.
ü No separate transport policy exists at the national and state levels.
ü No well defined policy to promote private participation in public transport.
ü Lack of coordination between various government agencies to improve transport services.

Conclusion & Suggestions-
The hypothesis which the researcher had assumed before the commencement of the project has turned out to be true. During the last 50 years, the level of pollution as well as the number of vehicles on the road has increased drastically. Since the purchasing power parity of the people has increased steadily, so have their needs and luxuries. This has led to an adverse impact on our environment. The pollution level has gone up because of which ozone layer is depleting and environment is suffering.

There are ample numbers of laws made on the issue of pollution. So, the Government cannot be blamed for the lack of legislation. The lacuna lies in its implementation. India’s biggest drawback is the implementation of the laws made by the legislature.

Hence, it is the duty of the citizens of the country to take some initiatives to preserve their environment. After all, it is they who have to live on this beautiful creation of God, i.e. EARTH!!..

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# Environmental Protection Agency, ‘Motor Vehicle Emissions’, http://www.epa.gov/otaq/ld-hwy.html, visited on February 6, 2011.

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: nirma@legalserviceindia.com

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