The odd-even plan, though brought relief to Delhi’s air, is only an emergency plan and no one should be exempted from it, said Centre for Science and Environment.
The research organisation’s chairperson Sunita Narain stressed the need for permanent measures to stop pollution.
“Today the air in Delhi is so polluted, action needs to be taken now. Odd-even is an emergency measure. It cannot be brought often or everyday. But when it is brought, it will have an impact on pollution,” she said.
She said that clear gains in air quality were seen during odd-even and had it not been for the crop-burning in Punjab and Haryana, the second week of the restriction would have seen better air. No one, including women, should be exempted from the scheme, she said.
Narain hailed the Centre’s decision to skip Bharat Stage 5 fuel standard for vehicles and instead move to stricter Stage 6 by 2020.
“We condemn the misleading number game and motivated campaign of the auto industry to claim that vehicles in Delhi are an insignificant source of pollution and should be left alone. The actions taken, such as environment compensation charge (on trucks) and ban on waste burning have started to show results and this cannot be derailed,” she said.
She said the increased registration of diesel cars was a problem as they don’t meet emission norms even in western countries.
“The Volkswagen scandal clearly showed that diesel cars are not meeting the norms. We should look at Beijing where sale of diesel vehicles is banned. They also have the Euro 5 emission standards while in Delhi we have the Euro 4 emission norms,” she said.
Narain also said that the imposition of the environment compensation charge on trucks had helped bring down the number of trucks entering the city by 50% and that night-time pollution levels have fallen significantly since implementation in November. Trucks are allowed inside city limits between 11 pm and 6 am.