Pune 26 Oct, 2017 Hundreds of Punekars are waiting on PMPML to address their concerns over its decision to buy 400 diesel buses to increase its fleet.
An online petition on Air A!ert, a digital campaigning platform for air pollution and climate change, already has around 900 supporters. The campaign has targeted Tukaram Mundhe, Managing Director, PMPML; Mukta Tilak, Mayor, Pune; and Nitin Kalaje, Mayor, PCMC, asking them to buy 800 CNG buses in Pune.
On September 27, Parisar, a civil society organisation working on transport and sustainable development, and Jhatkaa, a digital advocacy organization, wrote to Mundhe and the mayors on behalf of these supporters, asking them to reconsider their decision of buying these highly polluting buses.
“It has been a month since we wrote to Mr Mundhe and the mayors, but we still have not received an acknowledgement from them. This is not the first time that the PMPML has refused to give an acknowledgement. When we asked for a copy of the report of the technical committee of purchase of CNG v Diesel buses, it was refused,” said Ranjit Gadgil, Program Director, Parisar.
Gadgil added that they want to have a meeting and understand why such a decision was taken even though there is enough evidence on the pollution caused by diesel buses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2012 has classified diesel exhaust as Class I carcinogen for strong link with lung cancer. This puts diesel emissions in same bracket as tobacco smoking, asbestos etc in terms of strong carcinogen.
“Punekars were very enthusiastic about this campaign. Almost 1000 Punekars expressed their concerns over diesel buses and signed this petition. Once diesel buses are on the streets, they run for an average of 10 years. This means that for the next decade Punekars will be breathing in toxic pollutants from these vehicles. The transport authority has not kept public interest in mind before making this decision,” said Noah D’Mello, Senior Campaigner, Jhatkaa.org.
In April, the PMPML said that they would purchase CNG buses for its new fleet. But in August, it backtracked on its promise to purchasing all CNG buses, which are less polluting for the environment.
Jhatkaa.org is a campaigning organisation committed to building grassroots citizen power across India in effective and innovative ways. Jhatkaa.org helps people take action collectively on issues that interest or affect them, and create change that would not be possible if they acted alone.
Jhatkaa.org also collaborates with civil society to engage citizens to hold corporate, cultural and government leaders accountable in real time at key decision moments through various digital communication platforms. Read more about Jhatkaa.org’s victories and press hits.
Parisar is a civil society organization working on lobbying and advocacy for sustainable development. Since its formation in the early 1980s, Parisar has worked in a diverse set of fields such as preservation of heritage, protection of urban biodiversity, and sustainable agriculture.
Since about the turn of the 21st century, its work focuses mainly on sustainable urban transport, since it recognizes that unsustainable transport policies and systems are the foremost threat to urban environment and quality of life.
It has been consistently promoting and pushing for sustainable public transportation, and has liaised and worked closely with the Pune Municipal Corporation by providing inputs on various aspects like BRT, non-motorised transport (NMT) which includes cycling and walking.
For more information, please contact:
Noah D’Mello Ranjit Gadgil