ISLAMABAD, June 2: Pakistan has become the largest user of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in the world, overtaking Iran, Argentina and Brazil in the number of vehicles using gas as fuel, replacing more polluting fuels.Due to cost savings, the transport sector had also switched from petrol and, in some cases, diesel to CNG, according to the Economic Survey 2010-11.
With 21 per cent vehicles converted to CNG, Pakistan was way ahead of India that had a little over a million vehicles converted to CNG, 730,000 in Italy, and China with 450,000 vehicles running on gas.
According to the survey, 3,329 CNG stations are operating in the country and 2.5 million vehicles are running on gas. Use of CNG as fuel in transport sector had observed a quantum leap, replacing traditional fuels.
To improve air quality, the government had banned on leaded gasoline in 2000 and the sulphur content in diesel had been reduced from one to 0.6 per cent.
It pointed out that the two-stroke engine motorcycles and rickshaws were the most inefficient in burning fuel and contribute most to emissions.
The two-stroke vehicles, it said, were responsible for emission of very fine particles that settled in lungs and caused respiratory diseases.
It said the 2-stroke vehicles industry was performing fast in Pakistan and had increased by more than 142 per cent in 2010-11 compared with the year 2000-01. “Rickshaws had grown by more than 24 per cent while motorcycles and scooters had more than doubled since 2000-01.”
The survey said the main causes of air pollution also included a sharp increase in number of vehicles, inefficient and outdated automotives technology, dirty fuels, absence of public transport, and uncontrolled emission of industrial units, along with burning of garbage and presence of loose dust because of dry climate.—Staff Reporter