Odd-even rule had visible impact in bringing down pollution level

Alleging “misinformation” campaign over the efficacy of the ‘odd-even’ scheme, Delhi government today claimed that it had a “definite” and visible impact in bringing down pollution in the city.

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The Delhi government had earlier claimed that the vehicular restrictions had managed to arrest the rise in peak pollution levels and that the overall reduction was no less than 25 per cent. (Reuters)

Alleging “misinformation” campaign over the efficacy of the ‘odd-even’ scheme, Delhi government today claimed that it had a “definite” and visible impact in bringing down pollution in the city.

Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that the AAP government was “upbeat” about the road rationing regulations and hoped that the people will follow the measures when imposed in the next round.

“There were attempts to mislead people of Delhi on the effectiveness of the scheme. A misinformation campaign was going on but our reports suggest the scheme had a visible impact in bringing down the pollution level,” Rai told reporters.

Rai cited reports released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Supreme Court appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), green bodies that have suggested that the scheme has had a positive impact.

“Certain sections had said the scheme will be a failure but people responded wholeheartedly to the initiative proving the critics wrong,” Rai said.

However, IndiaSpend, a data-driven portal, that has installed low cost sensors across Delhi said in a report that pollution levels (PM 2.5) rose 15 per cent during the odd-even period over the previous 15 days.

When contacted, Samar Halarnkar of IndiaSpend said that the portal has merely reported the findings of its sensors and that it has no “political interest”.

“We are just a data-driven public interest website and the information we disseminate is for public knowledge,” he said.

In its report, the portal said that with four-wheelers accounting for “no more than 10 per cent” of Delhi’s overall vehicular pollution load, according to an IIT-Kanpur study, the need for other measures is obvious.

The Delhi government had earlier claimed that the vehicular restrictions had managed to arrest the rise in peak pollution levels and that the overall reduction was no less than 25 per cent.

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