The Taj Mahal, which is one of the seven wonders of the world and arguably one of the most beautiful monuments in India, is facing the consequences of being located in Agra, the world’s eighth most polluted city—it is losing its striking white colour and slowly turning brown and green.
Taking note that the air pollution in the city is one of the major reasons that the Taj is getting destroyed, a group of students from the ACE College of Engineering and Management (ACE) in Agra, developed a car that is built from scrap and recycled materials and operates on solar energy.
Akash Gupta, who led the team of innovators told India Climate Dialogue,
“Air pollution is a big problem in Agra, and most of it comes from vehicles. The challenge before us was to design a vehicle that would be light, efficient and affordable.”
The car called ‘Nexgen’ by the creators is a zero-fumes solar car. It is disabled friendly, can accommodate four passengers and will have a top speed of 30kmph. According to the students, in a traffic-prone city like Agra, this speed is more than enough.
Sanjay Garg, the chairman of ACE, told IANS, “The production costs should not exceed Rs 50,000 as we have tried to use a lot of recycled material, including sanitary pipes.
The car is simple and functional and suited to rural conditions, and we have provided batteries for night use. The solar panels keep charging during the day.”
Adding to this, Gupta told Economic Times, “If solar cars become popular, our dependence on petrol and diesel will reduce, and emissions will remain under control.”
Pollution levels are high across the country—the fog in Delhi, dust storms and decolouring of Taj are visible proof that we are probably doing much more harm than good for the environment. Taking steps like switching from petrol or diesel cars to solar cars would possibly help curb the air pollution on streets. You may question the speed limit of Nexgen or its efficiency, but isn’t a compromise on speed a minimal price to pay when the prize is cleaner air in one of the most polluted cities in the world?
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)