CNG: A SINE QUA NON OF THE PRESENT DAY

In the current rapidly evolving world where exploitation of nature and its resources are taking place under the tag of development, what we need is sustainable development through which we can meet the needs of today without compromising the needs of tomorrow. Developing countries like India are more prone to severe air pollution compared to developed countries accounting to the rapid urbanization, fast-paced industrial development, underdeveloped combustion technologies and continued use of traditional fuels. The deterioration of ambient air quality has been attributed with 1.24 million premature deaths and 38.7 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) loss in India resulting in a national public health crisis. The national capital New Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world where the population is literally living in a gas chamber with noxious air quality. According to studies, 28 % of the total pollution in Delhi is contributed by vehicular emissions which necessitated the monitoring of PM measurement of outdoor air pollution. The air quality index of Delhi hit an all-time low as the pollution levels crossed seventy times the safe limit last year.

Several management plans were implemented to better the air quality of the city and various control measures were introduced to minimize the pollution. The Delhi government launched a broad CNG programme to convert the city’s public transportation to CNG and the national capital ended up the cleanest public transportation system in the world by replacing the diesel buses with CNG by 2002. This transformation has brought a significant impact on air quality and pollution levels as it helped reduce the premature death rate in the city.

CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is one of the least toxic and cleanest burning eco-friendly fuel available.  The use of CNG reduces carbon monoxide emissions up to 97 per cent as it is processed from biological waste, marking it as a sustainable replacement to fossil fuels. When compared to other fuels, CNG is safe to store and transport. Besides being eco friendly, CNG provides numerous economic benefits as well. The cost of CNG when compared to other traditional fuels is considerably low and its abundant presence in nature promises its availability for future purposes. 
India is setting an example of sustainable development by reducing the use of fossil fuels and shifting to eco-friendly fuels like CNG. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a 450 km natural gas pipeline between Kochi and Mangalore built by Gas Authority of India Limited, which will supply safe and affordable fuel to households in the form of piped natural gas (PNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) to the transportation sector. The pipeline is a part of the country’s journey towards ‘one nation-one gas grid’, said the Prime Minister. A total of 1,544 km pipeline had been laid as part of the National Gas Grid in 2020. India plans to spend $60 billion in creating gas infrastructure till 2024. These projects are incorporated as India plans on developing a gas-based economy, reducing the use of traditional fossil fuels and thereby aiming to cut down its greenhouse gas emission levels to improve the environmental and climatic conditions.