Climate change#3: CDM “Metro Delhi” project

1.-  Description of the project activity

The objective of the project is the establishment and operation of an efficient, safe, rapid, convenient, comfortable and effective modern mass transit system ensuring high ridership levels in the city of Delhi, India. The city has around 14 million inhabitants being the second largest city in India. The Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) proposed is a partially elevated, partially underground and partially at-grade heavy duty metro with a length of 102 km expecting to transport on average in 2011 around 1.1 million passengers daily.

The Delhi Metro is the first railway project in the world to earn carbon credits after being registered with the United Nations under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and has so far earned 400,000 carbon credits by saving energy through the use of regenerative braking systems on its trains.

It has won awards for environmentally friendly practices from organizations including the United Nations, RINA, and the International Organization for Standardization, becoming the second metro in the world, after the New York City Subway, to be ISO 14001 certified for environmentally friendly construction.

2.-  Contribution of the project to sustainable development

The project contributes to sustainable development in a significant manner in the environmental, social, economic and technological dimensions. Environmental improvements are achieved through less GHG and other air pollutant emissions, specifically particle matter, SO2 and NOx. This is achieved through a more efficient transport system and through using electricity as energy source.

The project complies with all legal requirements of the environmental legislation of India. All environmental permits required have been granted. The project is compliant with national public transport regulations and strategies.

Estimated amount of emission reductions:

The project reduces on average 529,043 tCO2per annum in the first crediting period.

3.-  Contribution of the project  to technology/knowledge transfer

Metro Delhi is a world class metro using state-of-the art metro technology. All equipment used is new. Partially equipment and know-how is imported. This is, e.g. in the case of rail cars progressively indigenized. Through the project a technology transfer thus takes place.

4.- Other positive and negative impacts of the project

The social impact of metro is that it complements other modes of transport and replaces partially trips made by conventional or traditional means of transit by metro, being a more efficient, faster, safer and reliable transport means for Delhi population. This shift improved social wellbeing because of less time lost in congestion, less respiratory diseases due to less particle matter pollution, and fewer accidents per passenger transported. The metro reduces the number of road accidents due to the reduction of car congestion.

Other social benefit is that the metro have been built thinking in the inclusion of disable people, for instance entry gates are computer controlled retractable flap type automatic gates at entry and at exit with disabled wide reversible gates for disabled people.

The Metro has been promoted as an integral part of community infrastructure, and community artwork depicting the local way of life has been put on display at stations. Students of local art colleges have also designed decorative murals at Metro stations, while pillars of the viaduct on some elevated sections have been decorated with mosaic murals created by local schoolchildren.

5.-  Reasons to justify the additionality of the project

The continuation of inefficient, uncomfortable, unreliable and undignified public transport system, would have been increase the negative impact of the baseline situation in which the continuation of traditional modes of transport such as buses, taxis, private cars, rickshaws and motorcycles, with 6 million vehicles and an exponential growth in the vehicular population will increase the quantity of pollution in Delhi.

Therefore, it was necessary to address the problem of that lack of a quality public transport in order to reduce carbon emissions related to traditional modes of transport in Delhi.

Prior project start the board of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC) already considered CDM as vital to cover for the additional costs of a metro. The project participant said that the project activity should be formulated as a CDM activity. They project participant mentioned the Kyoto Protocol finance mechanism and started contacting potential consultants. Also prior project starting date the project was included in the environmental strategy of DMRC. The project participant thus shows clearly awareness of the CDM prior to the project activity start date, and that the benefits of the CDM were a decisive factor in the decision to proceed with the project.

Evidence to support this, are a consideration of the decision by the MD with the full Power of the Board, to undertake the project as a CDM project activity. The additionality of the project is determined using the “Tool for the demonstration and assessment of additionality (version 05.2, EB 39 Annex 10)”.

6.-  What would happen without the CDM project

The baseline situation is a continuation of traditional modes of transport including buses, taxis, private cars, rickshaws, motorcycles and bikes. At the end of 2008, Delhi had nearly 6 million vehicles including 1.8 million private cars, more than 45,000 buses, 76,000 motorized rickshaws and nearly 4 million motorcycles. During the last two decades, Delhi had an exponential growth in the vehicular population having more vehicles than the combined number in the other three metros of India viz. Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

More than 90% of vehicles circulating are personal vehicles. This huge growth is partially due to the increased income but primarily due to a continuation of inefficient, uncomfortable, unreliable and undignified public transport system. In absence of the project, the passengers move from their trip origination to their trip destination by buses, by taxis, by motorized rickshaws, by the existing 3 lines of the metro and by NMT (Non Motorized Transport). To a very limited degree, the existing railway lines although latter are used for inter-urban travel also makes some urban trips. In the baseline situation, these modes of transport would continue to operate and transport passengers from their trip origin to their trip destination.

7.- Climate resilience of the project

The Delhi metro project supported by the CDM has promote the climate resilience as they helped to establishment an efficient, safe, rapid, convenient, comfortable and effective modern mass transit system ensuring high ridership levels in the city of Delhi. Therefore, the CDM is promoting a public mass transport system, which allows the city with a “mechanism” to reduce their pollution, and to be less vulnerable to future climate changes.

According to the UN, Delhi Metro has helped in reducing pollution levels in the city by 6.3 lakh tonnes (105) every year, thereby helping in mitigating impacts of global warming. As travel by Metro is completely non-polluting and environment-friendly, it reduces the GHG emissions, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, which would have resulted by the travelled by cars, buses, taxis…

A passenger who chooses to use Metro instead of his car, he contributes in reduction in emissions to the extent of approximately 100gm of carbon dioxide for every trip of 10km, becoming this way party to the reduction in global warming.

According to figures by DMRC, more than 91 thousand vehicles have been removed from Delhi’s roads because of Delhi Metro. tha’s a huge change! Isn’t it? 🙂


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