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In The News

BMC to hammer home the message of global warming

Mumbai: The city civic body has decided to start it at home to make the earth a better place.

As a part of its ambitious project to curb global warming on the lines of Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York, the BMC will go door to door to conduct a random survey of emission of greenhouse gases from air-conditioners, refrigerators and television sets.

“The scientific consensus is that the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas created by human activities was the main reason behind global warming,” said deputy chief engineer (environment) S D Khandare. “It is not possible for the civic corporation to conduct such a survey on its own. As a result, we have asked for tenders from private agencies.” The civic body has already received bids from two companies and the matter has been sent before the tender discussion committee. The work order will be issued soon and the proposal will have to be cleared by the standing committee.

Khandare said the survey would be conducted broadly in three categories— homes, industries and vehicles on roads. “The homes will also be classified into high-income groups, low income societies and poor dwellings. Random samples will be drawn from each category and the teams will inspect the emission of greenhouse gases from electronic units installed inside the houses,” he stated.

A separate team will survey industrial emissions as well as the pollution created by vehicles, which add to global warming. “Such surveys take a long time and help in identifying patterns in various areas that lead to global warming.” The final survey result will help the corporation identify areas in Mumbai, which contribute more to global warming and suggest remedial measures.

Additional municipal commissioner R A Rajeev told TOI, “We are in talks with the two agencies that have shown interest. Cities such as Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai, are in the process of calculating their findings and making a remedial report.” He stated that once the survey was ready, it would serve as a reference point to know how greenhouse gases are being emitted from the metropolis. “It will definitely help reduce global warming,” he said.

Greenhouse gases, which include water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane, warm the atmosphere by efficiently absorbing thermal infra-red radiation emitted by the earth’s surface, by the atmosphere itself and by clouds. Because of its warmth, the atmosphere also radiates thermal infra-red in all directions, including downward to the earth’s surface. Thus, greenhouse gases trap heat within the surface-troposphere system.

Since methane is also one of the greenhouse gases, the corporation will conduct a separate study on dumping grounds. “We will have a data on how much waste is generated, dumped and after that, how much of it decomposes and generates methane gas,” Khandare added. The civic body will also study emissions from vehicles in various categories of two-wheelers, light motor vehicles and heavy motor vehicles. The final data will be compiled in a software by the survey teams, Khandare added.

 

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