Book Review: "Cleaner Air and Better Transport"
Tata Energy Research Institute (New Delhi)

The Tata Energy Research Institute's Clean Air and Better Transport provides a useful perspective on the intractable air pollution problems of India, especially New Delhi, which has emerged as one of the world's mega-cities (by some estimates now comprising 10 million or more residents). The manuscript provides a succinct primer on air pollution, its causes and effects. Seven strategies for mitigation are proposed. With only seven percent of travel in New Delhi and a similar number in Mumbai, TERI's recommendation for reducing the demand for travel and making public transport (which represents 62 percent of travel in New Delhi and 80 percent in Mumbai) seems unlikely to yield much in results. As residents of Indian metropolitan areas become more affluent, it seems inevitable that the demand for automobile travel will rise significantly. The restrictive land use policies that might mitigate higher levels of automobile ownership could raise housing prices to such an extent that large segments of the population would remain in poverty for much longer (just as in the United States, land development rationing policies in the Portland area have made the area the most unaffordable housing market in the nation outside California). On the other hand, there would seem to be great hope for reducing air pollution through another of TERI's recommendations, which would involve on-board automobile pollution reduction technologies of the type that have produced such success in the United States.

(c) 2000 --- Wendell Cox Consultancy --- Permission granted to use with attribution.
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