The Delhi government contends that the odd-even rule has brought down particulate matter and nitrogen oxide release by cars by 40%, a claim at odds with the data put out by most agencies, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi.
While the catchword in the government’s statement in the Delhi High Court is “emission from cars”, for which separate high-frequency data is not immediately available from any other source, the government’s own Delhi Pollution Control Committee says the new rule hasn’t resulted in a wholesome improvement in the capital’s air quality.
According to data on the DPCC website, concentration of particulate pollutants at three of Delhi’s busiest localities — Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh and RK Puram — has barely reduced since the odd-even plan has come into force. In at least some places in the capital region, the concentration of particulate pollutants has been on the rise during the period. This gives more credence to what came out in FE’s analysis reported earlier that road dust, construction and industry are principally to blame for Delhi’s toxic air, rather than vehicular emissions, particularly from cars. This is especially true of the most harmful of pollutants — PM2.5 and PM10.
The last few weeks have seen several steps being taken by the Supreme Court as well as the Delhi government to bring down the pollution levels in the national capital to satisfactory levels. The high court, which earlier expressed concern over the inconvenience caused by the odd-even rule to the public, on Friday said it will decide on Monday whether the complete the trial run of 15 days should be allowed.