Auto industry 'misusing study to derail anti-pollution'
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Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh might have condemned the misuse of subsidised diesel for consumption in luxury cars, but a study by a Government institute ignores their contribution to air pollution, the Centre for Science and Environment claimed today.
The CSE, which analysed the Environment Ministry's recently released six-city study on air pollution sources, said it has found "flaws" in the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) studies of Delhi and Mumbai and criticised the auto industry for "misusing the study to derail tighter emissions standards and encourage polluting diesel cars."
The NEERI studies of Delhi and Mumbai "show vehicles be the lowest for emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM)," said Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE's executive director-research and advocacy and head of its air pollution control unit.
However, the studies in same pattern conducted by other agencies in the cities including Bangalore, Kanpur, Chennai and Pune "show higher vehicular contribution - particularly to NOx," she said.
"Naturally... except the NEERI study all other studies bring out the problem of vehicles. The NEERI study for Delhi and Mumbai grossly underestimates vehicles' contribution to both PM10, PM2.5 and NOx compared to other cities," Anumita told reporters here.
And NEERI's finding that "domestic LPG contributes 50 percent of the PM2.5 in Delhi" is "unacceptable," she said.
Alleging that the automakers are selectively taking advantage of the "weak science" of the Delhi and Mumbai components of the study, she said the auto industry was making efforts to use the "questionable study" to deflect policy attention from vehicles, especially diesel cars.
Accusing the Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) of citing NEERI study to defend diesel cars, Anumita said, "it is time for budget and public outcry is shrill this year about the misuse of subsidised diesel for luxury consumption in cars and SUVs."
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