Mumbai may have a new way of dealing with rising air pollution and degrading air quality. Not many switch their engines off while standing on the traffic signal before it goes green. To curb such waste of fuel and emission of harmful gases, a new traffic system has been developed to address this problem.
In order to address this peculiar problem, 19-year-old Shivani Khot and her younger sister Esha (14) have come up with a unique solution – adding a new “blue” signal along with the red, yellow and green ones that people are familiar with.
As per their novel initiative, all the engines have to be compulsorily switched off at the blue signal. The blue light will turn on five seconds after a signal goes red and turn off to red five seconds before the green signal, allowing for time to switch on the ignitions.
“There is a huge loss of fuel and air pollution as the engines continue to be on at signals. We think we can change things by having the new signal,” Shivani Khot, a student of psychology at the SK Somaiya College in Mumbai, told PTI.
Citing findings of studies done by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), she said only 20 per cent of motorists switch off the ignitions while waiting at signals.
She said by switching off vehicle engines, fuel worth Rs. 70 crore can be saved annually at eight busy intersections in the national capital region alone.
At these eight junctions, around 28,750 tonnes of carbon is emitted, which can be considerably reduced, only if the engines are switched off, she said citing the CRRI data.
The college student said despite some signals having a digital counter, which shows the time before the signal goes green, there has been no change in the people’s attitude.
She said a placard campaign asking motorists to shut engines took the number of those switching off ignition up to 64 per cent, from where it declined week after week.