The car rationing “odd-even” scheme, which has reduced the traffic volume, has managed to bring down the peak level of pollution in the national capital to its “lowest”, a Supreme Court appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) has said.
EPCA said both particulate matter and nitrogen oxide load from cars have reduced substantially, by as much as “40 per cent”, in the first week of its implementation thus validating the importance of the car rationing measure.
In its analysis, the apex court appointed panel observed that current weather condition in Delhi currently is at “emergency levels”. Delhi Dialogue Vice Chairman Ashish Khetan claimed that the peak level was at a “historic low”.
EPCA based its findings from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) data. Peak levels of November, December and January were 606, 524 and 391 micrograms per cubic metre respectively, it said.
“The earlier smog episodes have seen much higher peaks and much more rapid build up compared to the rise that happened during the first week of odd and even programme. This proves reduced traffic volume has arrested the peaking of pollution,” its report said.
The fall in quantity of particulate matters and oxides of nitrogen indicates reduced exposure to toxic pollution from vehicles on roads and close to road side, where the maximum impact of pollution is felt, it said.
The report said there has not been a single good air quality day this winter in the national capital. November 2015 had 73 per cent of days in ‘severe category’ against 53 in November 2014 while December 2015 had 67 as against 65 per cent in December 2014.