Delhi metro first railway to earn UN carbon credits

Delhi Metro has become the world's first railway network to earn carbon credits from the United Nations for helping cut greenhouse gas emissions. The transport system has helped reduce pollution levels in the city by 630,000 tons a year, a UN release said.

If not for the Metro, the 1.8 million people who use it daily would have traveled by cars, buses or motorbikes, adding to pollution, the UN release
added. It will now get $9.5m (£6.1m) in carbon credits annually for seven years. And as the number of passengers increase, so will this figure.

Carbon credits are generated by a UN-run scheme called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The mechanism gives firms in developing countries financial incentives to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

This is the second CDM project of Delhi Metro to be registered with the UN body in the last three years. Metro's first CDM project was on regenerative braking - a technique for reducing power consumption.

"The United Nations body administering the clean development mechanism under the Kyoto
Protocol has certified that Delhi Metro has reduced emissions," the UN statement said.

"No other Metro in the world could get the carbon credit for the above because of the very stringent requirement to provide conclusive documentary proof of reduction in emissions," it added.

Every passenger who uses the Metro instead of cars or buses helps reduce greenhouse emissions by approximately 100gm of carbon-dioxide for every trip of 10km (6 miles) and that helps in reducing global warming, the UN said.

Delhi's hi-tech metro system was launched in 2002 (right). Parts of the network are underground while
some sections use elevated tracks. The system, which covers some of the city's most congested streets, is seen as the answer to Delhi's traffic chaos and has helped in lowering air pollution
levels.

Here in the sweaty heart of India’s northernmost megacity, the runaway success of the city’s almost complete subway system, known as the Metro, is a feat bordering on miraculous, and it offers new hope that India’s perpetually decrepit urban infrastructure can be dragged into the 21st century.

The Delhi Metro manages to defy just about every stereotype of urban India. It is scrupulously clean, impeccably maintained (left) and almost unfailingly punctual. Its cars are the latest models, complete with air-conditioning and even power outlets to let commuters charge their mobile phones and laptops. Its signaling and other safety technology is first rate, and the system is among the best in the world, urban transport experts say. Despite cheap fares, less than 20 cents for the shortest ride and about 67 cents for the longest, the system manages to turn an operating profit.

The metro system has had to deal with its social bumps too when women passengers complained
of sexual harassment by male passengers. As a resolution at least one carriage is reserved for women (right) on every metro train in the Indian capital, where female residents and tourists have complained about sexual harassment on public transport for decades.

Police on Saturday led a crackdown of men using women's carriages at a station in Gurgaon, a satellite development on the outskirts of Delhi, after a series of complaints. Women passengers joined in the police action. The offending male commuters were made to pay a fine of 250 rupees (£3.40) while angry women slapped some of them and forced them to do sit-ups on the metro platform.

The Gurgaon police commissioner who led the raid, said: "We found many male passengers in the women's coach. The moment the women saw us, they got the courage to teach the men a lesson. We want our young girls and women to feel confident and safe while travelling in the Metro (left)."

Source:
BBC News,"Delhi metro first railway to earn UN carbon credits", accessed September 27, 2011
MSN Green, "Delhi Metro gets UN certificate for reducing pollution", accessed September 27, 2011
The Telegraph "Men caught in 'women only' train carriage forced to do sit-ups", accessed September 28, 2011

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