The odd-even scheme did not have a significant effect on the air quality on the fourth day as the PM 2.5 level decreased only by 10 µg/m3 since Friday, when the second phase of the scheme commenced in the national capital.
The PM 2.5 level was recorded at 104.24 µg/m3 on Monday around 4 pm and it was 114.99 µg/m3 on Friday around the same time. This level is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, adults and people with respiratory disease. The safe threshold for PM 2.5 is 60 µg/m3.
The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) figures say the level of various components that are part of the air quality index did not see any changes compared to the last week’s data.
However, HSPCB officials say the pollution level of any area will not vary solely on a road rationing experiment. The air quality index depends on several factors such as density of smog in the air, sunlight and wind speed.
“There are several factors that impact the air quality of any city. The wind speed is high these days and that is also a cause for lesser pollution level in the region,” an HSPCB officials said.
“The impact of the odd-even scheme in Delhi will be significant for Gurgaon if this exercise continues for at least six months. According to our estimates, the impact on air quality cannot be more than 2 to 3% as Gurgaon has very less vehicular pollution, and suffers more from industrial and construction waste pollution,” the official said.
Experts at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Gurgaon, say that the there cannot be much improvement in air quality through road rationing unless other NCR cities implement similar policies. “Monitoring the air quality index is not an easy task in other cities. The public transport needs to be upgraded immediately in all cities and we can only see any changes if this exercise is practised on a regular basis,” Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of CSE, said.