Improving public transport is right solution to air pollution: Tehran mayor

December 12, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has said that improvement of the public transport is the effective solution to the chronic air pollution in Tehran.

If the public transport system has a sufficient capacity for transportation of passengers in Tehran, then officials can call on citizens to use the public transport when the air pollution reaches high levels, Qalibaf said as he opened a metro station in central Tehran on Saturday.
The mayor said the issue of air pollution in Tehran can not be resolved by taking stopgap and temporary measures such as spraying water on the capital. He added an imposition of traffic restrictions without providing people with proper means of transport also creates problems for citizens and disrupts normal life.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Tehran mayor appealed to the administration to meet its commitments and allocate the funds promised for Tehran’s public transport projects, especially for metro project.
Heavy air pollution has gripped Tehran over the past few weeks and has not dissipated despite all emergency measures such as closing schools, universities and government offices, imposing special traffic restrictions and spraying water on the capital by airplanes.
Officials have urged the citizens to use the public transport instead of their own cars, but many people prefer to use their cars due to the inefficiency of the public transport system.
A number of administration officials blame the heavy volume of traffic and settled weather condition, which is windless and rainless, for the choking smog hanging persistently over Tehran.
But, some other officials name some other factors as main culprits including low quality gas produced in the domestic refineries and the domestically manufactured cars which do not conform to the environmental and emissions standards.
“The main causes of Tehran’s air pollution are low quality gasoline and heavy volume of traffic in the capital,” Tehran Air Quality Control Company director Yusof Rashidi told the Mehr News Agency last Wednesday.
Traffic police chief Eskandar Momeni has also commented on the issue, blaming the domestic carmakers for the pollution.
“Unfortunately, some carmakers have removed canister (from the cars) to reduce production costs, and it has quadrupled the emission of pollutants from the cars,” Momeni said.
Canister is a car part containing the neutralizing substances through which poisoned air is filtered.
Momeni also said that the imposition of traffic restrictions is a temporary measure and can not be employed as a long-term solution, adding that the carmakers should be required to produce cars that conform to the environment standards.
Experts maintain that fitting antipollution devices such as catalytic convertor to the cars will greatly reduce air pollution in Tehran.