According to a research project by T.V. Ramachandra of the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (also known as Silicon Valley of India or IT capital of India) stands nowhere near to Xi’an, the 13th largest city in China.
The comparison was done in terms of dependence on public transport and commuting.
Besides the fastest-growing metros in their countries, both Xi’an and Bengaluru started as research and development hubs and witnessed massive urbanisation.
While Xi’an has one million cars while Bengaluru has 1.4 million light motor vehicles and a further 3 million two-wheelers. In Bengaluru, travel within the central business district is painful, with average speeds lower than 15 kmph.
Xi’an is also a leg ahead as it has a better developed public transport system. In comparison, people in Bengaluru depend on personal vehicles while haphazard planning has put the average commute to work at 7.09 km, nearly twice that of Xi’an (3.8 km).
In Xi’an, the top one-fifth of commuters (primarily, those who travel by car and long distances) contribute to 78 per cent of the emissions while in Bengaluru the top 20 per cent contribute 56 per cent. This means that a majority of commuters rely on metro and buses at Xi’an while in Bengaluru, they depend on cars and two-wheelers.
Ramachandra feels that it is bad and will not get better until public transport is improved.
At the same time, travelling by bus in Xi’an is far better as compared to Bengaluru (which contributes more than four times the carbon dioxide emissions).
Despite having more than 3000 buses than Bengaluru, the adoption of eco-friendly fuel (CNG, electric) as well as traffic decongestion methods have seen their emissions drop. This means that an average trip in a bus in Xi’an results in emission of 0.087 kg of CO2 while it is nearly 0.3 kg in Bengaluru.