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Impressed, Pakistan now wants CNG

New Delhi, April 1 - He dreams of "cleaner air" for the people of Lahore to breath easy. Ask him what he likes about Delhi's transport system, and Ahmed H. Ghazali, a young lawyer working as a researcher with the Clean Air Commission in Lahore tells you that he was struck by the strips stating stating CNG on the green autorickshaws indicative of the pride the city takes in having shifting to a cleaner fuel.

With a goal to replicate the same pride in Lahore by developing an environment-friendly transport system, Ahmed Ghazali is returning loaded with ideas picked up at the International Conference, "The Leapfrog Factor: Towards Clean Air In Asian Cities," organised by the Centre For Science and Environment in the capital.

Impressed with India's initiatives, Ahmed Ghazali would like to see the public transport in Lahore also shift to cleaner fuel like CNG. "Lahore is not looking at CNG as the only alternative. It could even be low sulphur diesel. The idea is to put the most effective system in place. I will be in constant touch with Indian experts and take suggestions from them on the technical know-how involved in shifting public transport to CNG. India has the experience and we would like to learn from here to avoid the blasts and fires in the CNG vehicles," he added. Pointing out the problems hounding the transport system in Lahore, he said that this city still did not have world standards for vehicles. "At a time when India is talking of Euro II and Euro III and even IV many of our cars in Lahore run on Euro I. All three-wheelers are two-stroke. Even the pollution montioring mechanism is not up to the mark. No health studies are available to analyse the effects of pollution," he added.

Awareness is another area where Pakistan is lagging far behind on the environmental front, Ghazali said. "We do not have the technical expertise and the research to be able to put data and information before the public," Ghazali said.

Thus, Ghazali plans to put forth before the Clean-Air Commission several options picked up during the conference increasing awareness being one of them. "To restrict the growth of private vehicles and develop an integrated public transport system in tandem with urban planning" is another point that Ghazali plans to put before the Commission.

Go to the BAQ 2004 website
Vehicular air pollution

Secretariat: The World Bank & Asian Development Bank