People, Environment

Tehran Council Urged to Prioritize Air Pollution

Tehran Council Urged to Prioritize Air PollutionTehran Council Urged to Prioritize Air Pollution

The Department of Environment has called on the incoming Tehran City Council members to focus on addressing air pollution by improving the Iranian capital's public transportation.

Mohammad Darvish, director of the Public Participation Office at DOE, added thatTehran's poor design necessitates the use of private cars rather than public transport and is a major cause of traffic, high fuel consumption and, consequently, air pollution.

He said daily gasoline consumption in Iran, which has a population of around 80 million, should be about 40 million liters, "but in reality, it's twice that", he told ISNA. Darvish attributed the issue to poor urban development across Iran.

"Over 44% of journeys in the country are made by single-occupancy vehicles. That is mainly because the design of cities encourages people to use their private vehicles," he said.

The official stressed that the development of subway network and safe bike lanes or walking lanes is a more efficient solution to curbing excessive fuel consumption and easing traffic and air pollution.

"It is a big and strategic mistake to think that building more bridges, highways and multi-story car parks will address the issue of traffic or to think that improving the quality of vehicles and fuel alone will tackle air pollution," he said, adding that developed countries have tried these methods and realized their ineffectiveness.

Darvish noted that it is the city council's duty to develop public transport infrastructure and urged its new members to rise above politics and work in the interest of the city.

"It seems that the new council is made up of more qualified members and enjoys at least three times more popularity and influence among the public than previous councils, given the high number of votes," he said, expressing hope that the advantages will help the new council work more effectively.

Nationwide city council elections were held on May 19, concurrent with the presidential vote. The candidates of a reformist, moderate alliance swept the 21 seats of Tehran City Council.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints