NEWS
13/09/2019 1:23 PM IST

Odd-Even Scheme Back In Delhi From Nov 4-15 To Tackle Air Pollution, CM Arvind Kejriwal Announces

Past instances of the odd-even scheme have shown that the odd-even scheme has done nothing to improve air quality in the city.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Friday that the odd-even scheme will be implemented again in New Delhi from 4 to 15 November to tackle air pollution. 

The chief minister said that this would be one of the steps in the seven-part plan to control air pollution that reaches hazardous levels every winter in the National Capital Region. 

Under this scheme cars with odd and even registration numbers can ply on the roads every alternate day. This scheme that was first introduced in Delhi in 2015.

PTI reported that the chief minister announced his seven-point action plan to tackle pollution caused by crop burning which includes distribution of masks, mechanised sweeping of roads, tree plantation, and special plans for 12 pollution hot spots in the city.

Kejriwal’s announcement comes a day after he met environmental experts on Thursday and discussed an action plan to fix Delhi’s air pollution problem in the winters. 

This time the odd-even scheme will be implemented right after Diwali, when the air quality levels spiral to the worst of the year thanks to the bursting of crackers. 

The government issues a statement saying that the experts Dr Ken Lee, executive director of EPIC (Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago) India and OP Agarwal, CEO, WRI (World Resources Institute) India said Delhi’s odd-even policy had an impact on air pollution and recommended pollution masks in winter months.

They also recommended long term measures such as electric vehicle policy, bus aggregator policy and reforms of pollution under control centres to combat air pollution in the city, it said.

While this will be the third time that the odd-even scheme will be implemented in the city, studies have shown that this scheme has not been successful in curbing air pollution in the city. 

A study published in Current Science in April 2018 had shown that the odd-even scheme implemented in January 2016 not only failed to reduce air pollution but likely increased vehicular emissions. 

Another report in Indian Spend had said that air pollution levels in Delhi rose by 15% during the implementation period in January. 

Vehicular emissions are not a major factor that causes air pollution in Delhi. An IIT Kanpur study had shown that vehicles accounted for 9% of Delhi’s PM10 emissions and 20% in the case of PM2.5. 

The study had shown that trucks and road dust were bigger contributors to the air pollution in Delhi than cars. 

(With PTI inputs)