Today's Editorial - 06 March 2021
Source: By Saurabh Prashar: The Indian Express
Chandigarh became the first state or Union Territory in India to launch Carbon Watch, a mobile application to assess the carbon footprint of an individual. Although the app can be accessed by everyone, it has specific options for the residents of Chandigarh to compile a detailed study.
The application can be downloaded through a QR code in Android supported smart cell phones. Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases-especially carbon dioxide-released into the atmosphere by a particular human activity. The Indian Express looks into the workings of the app, motivations behind its design and emission generation in Chandigarh.
How does the app Carbon Watch work?
As a person downloads the application, they will need to fill details in four parts — Water, Energy, Waste Generation and Transport (Vehicular movement). In the category of Water, the person will be required to inform about the consumption of water.
In the Energy category, the details regarding the electricity units consumed every month at the house, monthly bill etc and usage of solar energy will have to be furnished.
In the Waste category, the individual will need to inform about the waste generation on their part and their family. In the transport section, the individual will have to inform them about the mode of transport used by them- four wheeler, two-wheeler or bicycle.
With the mentioned information, the mobile application will automatically calculate the carbon footprint of the individual. The application will also provide information such as the national and world average of the emission, and the individual’s level of emission generation.
What is the motive behind designing this application?
“Making the people Climate-Smart Citizens while making them capable of accessing their carbon footprint, along with providing them with steps to reduce it, is the motive behind the application”, says Debendra Dalia, Director, UT Environment Department.
He maintains, “The mobile application is open for anybody. A man residing in Mumbai can also download it. The person will be informing about their carbon emission. But the focus of our department is on the feedback of Chandigarh residents. The application will help us make a strategy for Chandigarh. It will help us in analysing the average ratio of Chandigarh in the national and world emission. There are two options: Chandigarh or out of Chandigarh. The individuals will need to fill the pin code of their address in the app”.
What solutions will be offered by the mobile application? Will it get updated every day?
The mobile application will suggest methods to reduce the carbon footprints. The application will suggest ways as per the information furnished by the individuals.
For instance, if a person feeds in the app that they travel only in four-wheelers, the app will advise them to reduce their travel in four-wheelers and use bicycles occasionally. Moreover, in the option of Energy, the app will inform the individuals about the use of solar energy.
The app focuses on individuals’ actions and calculates carbon footprint on the basis of Transport, Energy, Waste and Water consumption. It also suggests remedial actions and sensitises people about their lifestyle emissions, their impact and possible countermeasures to mitigate the same.
How can Carbon Watch be downloaded?
Where does Chandigarh stand in the view of emission generation?
Although Chandigarh is one of the green cities, which has achieved the surplus 45 per cent green cover instead of the set target of 33 per cent. It still stands among 112 Indian cities identified as Non-Attainment Cities, for not meeting the prescribed standards of air quality.
Debendra Dalai says, “As per our assessment, vehicular pollution and the emission generated by the neighbouring states, including Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, is the main reason behind the poor air quality of Chandigarh. We do not have any major industry in Chandigarh.”
Chandigarh has a per capita density of 878 vehicles per 1,000 populations. Around 11 lakh is the population of Chandigarh, a joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.