Odd-even II: Govt, private organisations to keep eye on air quality

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 15, 2016 09:14 IST
The environment department has been tasked to monitor the impact of the second phase of odd-even on the city’s air. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

The Delhi government will analyse the impact of the second phase of odd-even on the city’s air. The restriction on cars was primarily implemented to curb air pollution in Delhi -- once described as the world’s most polluted city by WHO.

When the scheme was implemented in January, critics had argued that the restrictions did not have the desired impact on air quality. Data by many agencies painted contrasting pictures of the impact of odd-even on Delhi’s air.

The government is not leaving anything to chance this time. It has put in place a comprehensive mechanism to monitor air quality and data was collected on Wednesday andThursday.

Odd-even will again be implemented in the city from Friday till April 30.

The environment department will closely monitor and compare this data with that collected during and after the restriction.

“We want to be very careful about the exact impact of the scheme this time around. Last time in winters the weather was very fickle and vehicular pollution was not the only factor that was dictating the air quality levels. This time, the weather is more stable,” an environment department official said.

“Air pollution, especially particulate matter, is less in summers than in winters. But since the weather is more stable, we can get a clearer picture on how the restriction actually impacted air quality,” the official said.

According to The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), which analysed air quality data of April 13, said although PM2.5 and No2 were under limits, PM10 levels that consist of particles from both natural and anthropogenic sources, are still higher than the prescribed standard.

This time the Delhi government is monitoring air quality at the city limits and in adjacent towns to see if there is a significant difference in pollution levels in areas where the restriction is in place as compared to where it isn’t.

Last time, a Miami university professor’s research had shown that pollution levels were higher in NCR towns as compared to Delhi during the road rationing scheme.

TERI will also carry out a trend analysis of pollutants particulate matter 10, particulate matter 2.5 and Nitrogen Dioxide at nine locations — Mandir Marg, R K Puram, Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, Bahadurgarh, Lodhi Road, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Noida. This will be used to analyse the effect of the scheme.

According to the institute’s last assessment in January, air pollution levels have improved marginally but traffic congestion had come down by a lot.

(With inputs from agencies)

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