Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), organized a national conference on ‘Cleaner Mobility, Beyond 2020: Automotive Sector as an Agent of Positive Change’. The conference showcased commitment and contribution of the auto industry towards bettering the air quality and promoting sustainable mobility through an integrated approach. Various measures undertaken by the industry in conjunction with the government to drive the automotive industry towards a lower emissions threshold were highlighted.
Deepak Jain, President, ACMA and Chairman & Managing Director, Lumax Industries said, “The auto industry is perceived to be the major contributor towards pollution which is not correct. We, as an ecosystem, must jointly put efforts to amend this viewpoint. Additionally, the industry is making significant efforts for introduction of BS-VI emission norms. At the same time, the industry must bring to fore the significant role it plays in the national development and economic growth.”
Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM and President (Automotive Sector), Mahindra & Mahindra, said, “With BS-VI, now diesel will be at par with gasoline in terms of tailpipe emissions. Rhetoric of diesel as a bad fuel should therefore be put to rest. We must now develop a National Roadmap
for Alternative Fuels towards cleaner mobility beyond 2020. Government’s has recognized that stubble burning is one of the major contributors of air pollution in Delhi-NCR. SIAM has also done its bit to address the issue through its anti-stubble burning campaign Sukh da Saah in a small region of around nine villages in Punjab by engaging with farmers and authorities to put a stop to this practice. The pilot project was successful in reducing stubble burning by 75 percent.”
An impact assessment report of the Sukh Da Saah campaign titled Improved Crop Residue Management Initiative Nabha, Patiala’, was launched which was followed by the first technical session on vehicle emissions and regulations.
Priyank Bharti, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, GoI, commented, “The Ministry engages with the industry on essential policies like the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 to provide safer as well as practical mobility solutions. Likewise, government is looking at
cleaner mobility solutions in line with policy continuity by engaging with the industry.”
Vinod Aggarwal, Treasurer, SIAM and Managing Director & Chief Executive officer, VE Commercial Vehicles, said, “Smooth mobility of goods across the country is the lifeline of the economic growth. At the same time, we must ensure that we continue to move towards cleaner mobility through adoption of electric vehicles, alternative fuels and stricter compliance to emission norms.”
In the first technical session on ‘Vehicle Emissions & Regulations’, Prof Mukesh Sharma, IIT Kanpur expounded upon various sources of air pollution, citing biomass burning as a major contributor. He stressed that transition to BS-VI would bring in new dawn which has been made possible with significant investments by the industry. The second technical session focussed on Sustainable Mobility- Electrification & Alternative Fuels.
Delivering the opening marks Pravin Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises said, “We need to tackle multiple national objectives. Apart from our aim to bring cleaner mobility with an ultimate aim of zero emissions in future, energy security is also a critical
national requirement. Government and industry must work together to develop a framework of multiple technology options for multiple goals the country needs to achieve.”
The third technical session on Vehicle Life-Cycle Analysis was chaired by Manoj K Gangeya, Director, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change. Rashmi Urdhwarshe, Director, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) spoke on how circularity of the economy is one of the driving forces in achieving the goal of clean air. She stressed on the necessity of a massive shift to highly recyclable materials as the need of the hour.
Anand Kumar, Scientist (E) & Divisional Head, Central Pollution Control Board presented an elaborate action plan for the management of plastic waste. Bharat Kumar, Scientist E, Central Pollution Control Board stressed the need to regularise ELV activities through the guidelines and regulations formulated by CBCP in 2016 & 2019.
He concluded the session by talking about the regulatory framework applicable for setting up of ELV recycling facility.
In the final session on ‘Integrated Approach for Clean Air Management’, Sharath Kumar Pallerla, Director, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change elucidated on the key short term and long term goals identified under the National Clean Air Program, that offer an integrated approach to tackle different issues causing air pollution.
The conference brought out the fact that an integrated approach is needed for addressing air quality concerns by involving each key stakeholder, for achieving sustainable development goals and better air quality.