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  1. Odd, even formula: Arvind Kejriwal’s policy will cut Delhi pollution by just 1 pct

Odd, even formula: Arvind Kejriwal’s policy will cut Delhi pollution by just 1 pct

Though Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is going ahead with his odd-day-odd-car policy to curb the capital’s pollution, both he and the Supreme Court (SC) would do well to study the IIT-Kanpur report submitted to them.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: December 25, 2015 6:44 PM
odd-even, odd-even formula, odd-even scheme, odd-even formula scheme, odd-even policy, delhi odd-even formula, delhi pollution, odd-even policy delhi pollution

Odd-even formula: Arvind Kejriwal has exempted from his odd policy and 10% from 4-wheelers.

Though Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is going ahead with his odd-day-odd-car policy to curb the capital’s pollution, both he and the Supreme Court (SC) would do well to study the IIT-Kanpur report submitted to them. On PM10, it says, 56% of the capital’s pollution emanates from road dust, 14% from construction-related activities, 10% from industry and 9% from vehicles. You could argue that it is important to tackle vehicular pollution first since it is easier to handle than, say, road dust – in any case, in the more dangerous PM2.5, vehicles account for 20% of pollution versus 38% for road dust. But 46% of vehicular pollution emanates from trucks, 33% from 2-wheelers that Arvind Kejriwal has exempted from his odd policy and 10% from 4-wheelers. So if odd-even works perfectly, Kejriwal can hope to reduce Delhi’s pollution by just 1% (that’s half of 10% of 20%) – and if you assume there are as many women drivers as men, the impact goes down to 0.5%; and we haven’t even looked at the break-up of diesel versus petrol cars yet. An interesting data point here is that, as the wedding season gets over (think of all those monstrous diesel gensets powering every wedding you’ve been to in the last month) and as the burning of crop residue ends in Punjab and Haryana, Delhi’s PM2.5 levels start plummeting from January every year – so Kejriwal will get the results he wants since the test is designed to succeed.

car-pollution

The SC’s decision to ban, temporarily, registration of diesel cars/SUVs over 2000cc, as this newspaper has pointed out earlier, serves little purpose since 70-80% of the capital’s diesel cars are in the sub-1300cc range – the larger cars, by the way, are not just owned by the rich since the Innovas, for instance, are largely taxis for the not so well-heeled. But there’s another problem. Emission norms are not set by engine capacity alone, they’re set by weight category as well – so a car weighing under 1,305 kg can emit a maximum of 25 mg/km of particulate matter (PM), this rises to 60 for cars that weigh more than 1,760 kg. That’s where the SC ban on heavier cars is coming from, but there are lighter cars that emit as much as heavier ones – in the case of Toyota, for instance, its 4500cc Land Cruiser emits just 7% more PM than its 3,000cc Fortuner. What matters really is the emission per car, not the size of the engine or the weight of the car. Which brings us to the real issue, of old cars versus new cars that emit much less – PM norms for Category I diesel cars were cut from 80 mg in BS II to 25 mg for BS IV, and will fall to 4.5 mg when BS V comes. Banning new cars doesn’t help since they emit less, a solution lies in finding ways to phase out old cars which pollute more, while reducing the financial burden on owners – even when BS V fuel is made available, at a huge cost to refineries, this won’t reduce emissions from older cars. Issues like making bus travel easier through special lanes and lowering excise duties on buses remain critical, but there’s little to be achieved by demonizing cars.

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  1. Dattatreyulu Jammalamadaka
    Jan 2, 2016 at 1:27 am
    problem with AK is, he wants to something different always. He does everything by himself. People in such high position should not rush to things without essing the full impact of their suggestions. When there is such scientific study done by the premier insute in the country, he should fall back on such reports. Some people act first and think later. AK is at best a crusader than an administrator.
    Reply
    1. U
      Udayan
      Jan 3, 2016 at 1:55 am
      Road dust is earthen material or dirt that becomes airborne, primarily by the friction of tires moving on unpaved dirt roads and dust-covered paved roads.
      Reply
      1. A
        Amit Mukhopadhyay
        Dec 24, 2015 at 7:19 pm
        A reduction of 1% in 15 days of odd-even car rule will be a very good achievement. There are lot more measures that can be taken, the odd-even idea is just a small step in that direction. Secondly, whether 1% or 10%, it's a good beginning indeed. There can be no doubt that Delhi govt is acting in the right direction. But in the final analysis, rules and coercion is not the solution. The action has to be voluntary. The odd-even rule is just a direction that the govt is offering. Without people's partition and voluntary compliance with anti-pollution measures, Delhi's air will become from bad to worse. Not only respiratory diseases, some doctors say polluted air heavily affects endocrine system in small babies, and since the basic development of endocrine system is completed by 2 years of age of a baby, the height of the baby would be short when he grows up. This effectively means that 20 years later the average height Delhi potion (people who were born and brought up in Delhi) will be shorter than it's today. That's a frightening prospect. It's an irreversible change in human body structure. Please remember -- every single person breathes the same air. You cannot escape the polluted air of Delhi. At home you can use air filtering devices, but as soon as you step out, you have to breathe the same air as everybody else. Here there is an absolute democracy in sharing of air. Hence it is the responsibility of each of us -- rich and poor, illiterate and educated, urban and rural, smiling and grim -- to cooperate with Delhi govt in reducing air pollution in Delhi. Happy Christmas to all.
        Reply
        1. Hemen Parekh
          Dec 26, 2015 at 6:19 am
          Is Uma Bharti helpless ? She is Cabinet Minister for Water Resources / River Development / Ganga Rejuvenation Immediately after taking over in May 2014 , she launched " Swatchh Ganga " project After struggling for past 19 months , Ganga continues to be as polluted as before As it flows through the Northern States , thousands of factories continue to dump their untreated chemical effluents into it , despite laws prohibiting this And hundreds of cities / towns , continue to discharge their untreated sewage into it I am sure , if she were to read following news report in Business Line ( 26 Dec 2015 ) , she would want to cry in anguish and even wonder : " Of course , democracy is a wonderful thing - provided * MPs / MLAs server the interests of the people who elected them , whether they are in party of power or sitting in the opposition * And the government officers / police were to enforce whatever laws exist and book the offenders, without fear or favor ( no " parrot in the cage " syndrome ) * And the Courts hear the cases and p orders on the same day ( no dates ) But , if none of this is likely to happen in a democracy , can I have the powers of the Chinese Ministry of Environment Protection , which : # Received 12,369 telephonic complaints # Inspected 14 lakh companies between Jan - Sept ( 5091 per day ) # Ordered 28,600 companies to suspend their operations ( 102 per day ) # Shut down 17,000 polluting industries ( 61 per day ) # Found 46,800 companies discharging pollutants # Discovered 63,700 companies involved in illegal constructions " It is time citizens of India asked themselves : " To 480 million BPL ( below poverty line ) people of India , what matters more , * Right to vote / select , MPs / MLAs , once in 5 years , or * Freedom from hunger and freedom from pollution / diseases ? For a solution , read my blog " ROMP - a panacea ? " at ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- hemen parekh 26 Dec 2015
          Reply
          1. madhusudhan haravu
            Dec 25, 2015 at 5:07 am
            People do not take out their cars just to have fun but because it is a necessity for their carrying out their daily life and activities. Cars have become a part of middle cl life in India and people invest good money in buying cars and spend good money on buying fuel to run them. People are not going to stop running their cars every alternate day merely because of a diktat from the Delhi government. This simple fact is not being mentioned anywhere in all the TV talk shows and newspaper articles. I have stopped watching these TV discussions and reading write ups on the subject , barring this article which is an exception, because all the arguments are completely divorced from any semblance of reality. At a practical level many people may not even understand what odd and even numbers mean. Many people may not always bother to find out the date before they set out from their homes. The TV talk show hosts and anchors and so called activists sound like they live in another world. Or probably they have more than one car and hence will not be affected. The only consequence of the implementation of this plan will be harment of ordinary law abiding people for no fault of theirs. But even that will be a small number because considering the huge number of cars , all the traffic police, petty government functionaries who may be mobilized plus the so called volunteers , can catch only 3 to 5 cars for every 200 cars that will drive by. Pollution has to be tackled but banning cars is not the solution . Other options will have to be worked out. I believe that the Central government must take the initiative and appoint a team of highly qualified scientists and other experts who are ideologically neutral ( not voodoo science)to first of all carry out research and come up with reliable data about the problem and the negative consequences of pollution . The Central government must thereafater frame policies , short term and long term to reduce and eventually eliminate pollution. I repeat that the Central Government must be the agency primarily driving the campaign , the Delhi government having a secondary , implementing role. I strongly believe that no other insution apart from the Central government has the competence or the capabilities to tackle this situation and other insutions must keep away from this area. The present Central government has the vision and the ability to solve the problem , may be over the long term, but that will not be possible if the waters are muddied by politically motivated moves. Above all ther e should not be unscientific scare mongering plain language I trust Modi to do the needful .
            Reply
            1. madhusudhan haravu
              Dec 25, 2015 at 5:08 am
              People do not take out their cars just to have fun but because it is a necessity for their carrying out their daily life and activities. Cars have become a part of middle cl life in India and people invest good money in buying cars and spend good money on buying fuel to run them. People are not going to stop running their cars every alternate day merely because of a diktat from the Delhi government. This simple fact is not being mentioned anywhere in all the TV talk shows and newspaper articles. I have stopped watching these TV discussions and reading write ups on the subject , barring this article which is an exception, because all the arguments are completely divorced from any semblance of reality. At a practical level many people may not even understand what odd and even numbers mean. Many people may not always bother to find out the date before they set out from their homes. The TV talk show hosts and anchors and so called activists sound like they live in another world. Or probably they have more than one car and hence will not be affected. The only consequence of the implementation of this plan will be harment of ordinary law abiding people for no fault of theirs. But even that will be a small number because considering the huge number of cars , all the traffic police, petty government functionaries who may be mobilized plus the so called volunteers , can catch only 3 to 5 cars for every 200 cars that will drive by. Pollution has to be tackled but banning cars is not the solution . Other options will have to be worked out. I believe that the Central government must take the initiative and appoint a team of highly qualified scientists and other experts who are ideologically neutral ( not voodoo science)to first of all carry out research and come up with reliable data about the problem and the negative consequences of pollution . The Central government must thereafater frame policies , short term and long term to reduce and eventually eliminate pollution. I repeat that the Central Government must be the agency primarily driving the campaign , the Delhi government having a secondary , implementing role. I strongly believe that no other insution apart from the Central government has the competence or the capabilities to tackle this situation and other insutions must keep away from this area. The present Central government has the vision and the ability to solve the problem , may be over the long term, but that will not be possible if the waters are muddied by politically motivated moves. Above all ther e should not be unscientific scare mongering plain language I trust Modi to do the needful .
              Reply
              1. madhusudhan haravu
                Dec 25, 2015 at 5:09 am
                People do not take out their cars just to have fun but because it is a necessity for their carrying out their daily life and activities. Cars have become a part of middle cl life in India and people invest good money in buying cars and spend good money on buying fuel to run them. People are not going to stop running their cars every alternate day merely because of a diktat from the Delhi government. This simple fact is not being mentioned anywhere in all the TV talk shows and newspaper articles. I have stopped watching these TV discussions and reading write ups on the subject , barring this article which is an exception, because all the arguments are completely divorced from any semblance of reality. At a practical level many people may not even understand what odd and even numbers mean. Many people may not always bother to find out the date before they set out from their homes. The TV talk show hosts and anchors and so called activists sound like they live in another world. Or probably they have more than one car and hence will not be affected. The only consequence of the implementation of this plan will be harment of ordinary law abiding people for no fault of theirs. But even that will be a small number because considering the huge number of cars , all the traffic police, petty government functionaries who may be mobilized plus the so called volunteers , can catch only 3 to 5 cars for every 200 cars that will drive by. Pollution has to be tackled but banning cars is not the solution . Other options will have to be worked out. I believe that the Central government must take the initiative and appoint a team of highly qualified scientists and other experts who are ideologically neutral ( not voodoo science)to first of all carry out research and come up with reliable data about the problem and the negative consequences of pollution . The Central government must thereafater frame policies , short term and long term to reduce and eventually eliminate pollution. I repeat that the Central Government must be the agency primarily driving the campaign , the Delhi government having a secondary , implementing role. I strongly believe that no other insution apart from the Central government has the competence or the capabilities to tackle this situation and other insutions must keep away from this area. The present Central government has the vision and the ability to solve the problem , may be over the long term, but that will not be possible if the waters are muddied by politically motivated moves. Above all ther e should not be unscientific scare mongering plain language I trust Modi to do the needful .
                Reply
                1. Nitin Chauhan
                  Dec 24, 2015 at 4:14 pm
                  This article has been sponsored by and has vested interests of Motor Vehicle companies. Trying to show a noble approach of an honest Indian in poor light with disillusion facts and fake figures. Articles likes these are building blocks towards the greater effort of Misleading the potion. Well done
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Vijay
                    Dec 25, 2015 at 1:51 am
                    It makes little sense for a country like India to use cars running on imported fuel. M transport is the way to go. Of course, since cars are status symbol sin India, no one including the writer of this piece would like to give them up.
                    Reply
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