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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Pankaj Arora

Behavior and Policy: Framework for Planning of Low Carbon Freight Transport Systems for India’s Economic/Industrial Corridors

The Government of India is planning to invest about US$1 trillion in the next five years (2013-18) to expand country‘s infrastructure with a particular focus on the freight transport systems. This provides a tremendous opportunity to contribute towards the development of low carbon freight transport systems in India.
Typically, project evaluations are conducted in a compartmentalized manner, i.e., focused on one particular aspect like greenhouse gases/CO2. The other co-benefits from reduction of local air pollution, e.g., particulate matter (PM) are usually ignored. These benefits can be substantial and hence are considered in this study.
This study provides a framework that takes a comprehensive and systems approach for planning of the freight transport systems along the corridors. It evaluates the impacts and benefits of emissions reduction from the global to local levels. The three major components of the proposed framework are: (1) suggested emissions estimation methodologies and models for – greenhouse gases (GHG) and other pollutants; dispersion models to evaluate impact to receptors along the corridors; and health benefits, (2) provides recommendation of most viable low carbon freight transport technologies, and (3) approach to include induced traffic and associated emissions.
An extensive literature search and review of the case studies pertinent to freight transport systems along the planned corridors was conducted. The literature search focused on evaluating various existing methodologies to estimate emissions including GHG and other pollutants. It was noted that most of the estimation methodologies are based on the 2006 guidelines published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Various models like MOVES, COPERT, TEEMPs, CALINE, BenMAP, COBRA, AQM Tools were evaluated to recommend the most appropriate models for the proposed framework.
The proposed framework allows for analyzing global and local impacts of the freight movement along the industrial/economic corridors in India. The systems approach enables advancement in analyzing sustainability of corridor design and operations.