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Odd-Even Scheme May Return to Delhi as Air Quality Worsens

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Odd-Even May Return to Delhi
Odd-Even May Return to Delhi as Air Quality Worsens. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 26: With the air quality in Delhi and NCR increasingly getting worse ahead of winter, the city government has said it may bring back the odd-even scheme to limit the number of cars on the roads.

In a letter written on Wednesday, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to gear up for implementation of the odd-even scheme — under which private vehicles with odd registration numbers will be allowed to run on odd dates and those with even numbers will run on even dates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Weekends and public holidays were exempted from the first two rounds of the vehicle rationing Odd-Even scheme. Others exempted included CNG and electric cars, two-wheelers, cars driven by women and vehicles with a woman driver with a male companion below 12. Vehicles for medical emergencies, occupied or driven by people with disabilities, VVIPs, and enforcement cars were also allowed to run on all days.

The Minister also directed DTC to “chalk out an action plan for procurement of buses/conductors and submit the same within seven days”.

“With the increase in pollution level in Delhi the government may have to resort to emergency measures, including implementation of the odd-even scheme,” the letter read.

“It is, therefore, essential that the Transport Department/DTC/DIMTS are fully geared up for implementation of the scheme as and when the same is announced.”

The Odd-Even Scheme to curb Delhi’s toxic air was introduced first on January 1, 2016. The second phase was rolled out on April 15 that year. Violators were fined Rs 2,000 on the spot.

The air quality has been worsening in the capital. On Thursday, the average air quality index was “poor” even as most areas in the capital reeled under “very poor” and some suffered “severe” air pollution levels.(IANS)

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Pollution Severe In Delhi In Spite Of Odd-Even Scheme: SC

SC says despite odd-even scheme, pollution in Delhi became severe

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Odd-Even scheme
In spite of Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme, pollution has reached a severe level. Pixabay

The Supreme Court on Friday said in spite of Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme, pollution has reached a severe level, and again called the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Harayana and Uttar Pradesh, to report on measures taken to curb air pollution particularly related to stubble burning.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, “Do not give exemption to two-wheelers, and it will work.”

During the hearing, the judges scrutinized the Odd-Even scheme of the Delhi government in respect of air quality index data gathered in the past two years. The judges queried the Delhi government counsel, senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, what purpose the scheme served by keeping out cars which contribute mere three per cent of the total pollution.

Odd-even scheme in Delhi
The court observed the data presented by the authorities suggest the Odd-Even scheme had hardly any effect on improving air quality. Pixabay

The court observed that Delhi’s local pollution is a major problem, if stubble burning which contributes 40 per cent is kept out.

“According to the authorities, stubble burning has reduced to somewhere near five per cent now…we are concerned about Delhi’s local air pollution. What is the government doing?”

The court observed the data presented by the authorities suggest the Odd-Eeven scheme had hardly any effect on improving air quality. “Question is what are you gaining by this scheme?” observed the court.

Also Read- Pollution Problem in Delhi Likely to Influence Upcoming Delhi Assembly Polls

Further commenting on the social aspect of the Odd-Even scheme, the court said “Odd-Even will only affect the lower middle class but not the affluent ones since they have multiple cars… Odd-Even isn’t a solution, but public transport could be. But nothing has been done about that”, said the court.

The hearing on the matter will continue on November 25. (IANS)

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Twitteratis Share Mixed Opinions Over Odd-Even Scheme

The odd-even scheme in Delhi has led to a mixed reaction by citizens over social media platforms

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Opinions on social media
Netizens share their mixed reaction over the odd-even scheme by AAP government in Delhi. Pixabay

Twitterati are divided over implementation of the odd-even scheme in the national capital on Monday by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to tackle air pollution after Diwali.

“Dy CM @msisodia cycled today to work to Delhi Secretariat, ITO, from his residence near the Supreme Court, with a message to Delhi – Please follow #OddEven, for yourself, not because the govt has enforced it,” a user wrote.

“Burning of straw in Punjab and Haryana has increased pollution in Delhi, due to which Delhi @ArvindKejriwal government has implemented #OddEven,” another user noted.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also took to the Twitter to urge people to follow the new rule. “Hello Delhi! Odd Even is starting from today to reduce pollution. Do follow Odd Even for your health, your children’s health and your family’s breath. Share car, this will increase friendship, build relationships, save petrol and reduce pollution. Delhi will show it again,” he tweeted.

Odd-even scheme
The odd-even scheme in Delhi has attracted differing opinions. Pixabay

“Meanwhile, Delhi CM to combat Delhi Pollution, Odd Days: Don’t burst Crackers, Even Days: Burst Crackers in AAP rallies, Hypocrisy thy name is Arvind Kejriwal! #OddEven #OddEvenDobara,” wrote another user.

The scheme will remain in force till November 15 and will be applicable from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Violation will attract a penalty of Rs 4,000, which is double the amount charged in the earlier editions of the scheme.

Terming the scheme as a “political gimmick”, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vijay Goel said he would violate it.

Read Also- Pollution Levels in New Delhi Hit a Three-Year High

“Vehicles contribute to 28 per cent of pollution in Delhi, in which cars contribute only 3 per cent. This comes to cars contributing 0.84 per cent to total Delhi pollution, which means this #OddEven is leaving 99.58 per cent causative agents of Delhi pollution untouched. #OddEvenNatak,” Goel tweeted. (IANS)

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CSE Study to Identify Sources of Pollution in Real-Time

Delhi-NCR pollution: CSE study to identify sources of pollution in real-time

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Delhi, air pollution, cold, smog
People take early morning walk amid smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. In the Indian capital, the air quality hovered between severe and very poor this week posing a serious health hazard for millions of people. VOA

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), in association with the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and leading instrumentation company Horiba, Japan launched a pilot study on Wednesday on real-time source apportionment of PM2.5 in Delhi and adjoining areas.

The objective of the study is to identify the signature of various sources of pollution and carry out source speciation in select hotspots in Delhi and the National Capital Region.

The study was launched by the CSE in a round-table meeting here.

The monitoring for the study will begin from January 28 and continue till April 28. In these three months, the study will monitor around a dozen locations in Delhi-NCR.

Delhi. air pollution
A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

CSE deputy director general Chandra Bhushan said: “The pilot study will come out with signatures to identify the major sources of pollution in real time. Once we have established the signatures for various sources of pollution, the real-time elemental analysis will help us identify the source of pollution in an area, which will then help regulators in taking corrective action quickly.”

The study will be carried out using a ‘Real-time PM and Elemental Analyzer PX-375’, which is a product of Horiba, and gives a continuous analysis of PM2.5 concentration and its elemental composition.

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The technology used for monitoring PM2.5 is Beta-Ray Attenuation; the elemental analysis would be done using X-ray fluorescence technology. The instrument for the study will be co-located with the DPCC’s continuous air pollution monitoring stations.

“This is an opportunity to move from static one-time source apportionment to dynamic source identification and realtime mitigation. It can inform the ongoing efforts and processes to implement the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and the Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) for a more effective impact,” Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE said in a statement. (IANS)