The first week of the odd-even scheme has not made a significant impact on air pollution. Data from four Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) monitoring stations show fluctuating levels of air pollution over the first eight days of the scheme, say The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) experts.
Experts say changing wind speeds have led to the fluctuation, making it difficult to assess the impact of the odd-even scheme on air quality .
“Wind speeds have been lower during the odd-even week in comparison to a week before. This is one of the reasons why pollutant concentrations were higher this week,” said Teri’s Sumit Sharma, who led the monitoring team.
Teri is collecting data from four DPCC monitoring stations daily. It is also monitoring five other locations for air quality. This data shows that from April 15 (day 1 of odd-even scheme) to April 22 (day 8), PM 2.5 has gone up and down. PM 2.5 are fine particles that can cause respiratory problems.
The Indian permissible standard for PM 2.5 is 60 µg/m3, while World Health Organisation limit is 25 µg/m3.
Sharma said a detailed analysis was required to ascertain the actual impact of the second phase of road rationing after it concludes on April 30.
Even the CPCB on Thursday, during a hearing at the National Green Tribunal, said there was no data to suggest that the odd-even scheme had brought down vehicular pollution in Delhi.
“Fluctuations in PM 10 and PM 2.5 are due to the weather and change in wind patterns. Prima facie, there is no data to suggest the odd-even scheme has decreased vehicular pollution,” it said. The national pollution control body plans to submit a detailed report by May 2.
The DPCC mobile monitoring stations on Friday showed that nearly 55 locations registered PM 2.5 level at below 60, while PM 100 level was below 10 at 21 spots.
According to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research), PM 2.5 rose from around 70 µg/m3 to 94 µg/m3.
A study conducted by the School of Planning and Architecture showed that the share of private vehicles in the city has risen by almost 50% during odd-even phase two compared to the first round.