Air pollution is an issue that has been haunting the metropolitan Delhi and NCR for years now. Poor air quality has been a subject of concern for the inhabitants as well as the administration. In the wake of this issue that has been existing since long, Delhi Government decided to implement the odd–even scheme between 4th November 2019 and 15th November 2019 (both days inclusive).

What was the odd–even scheme?

Odd–even scheme aims at reducing vehicular emissions by cutting down the number of vehicles on the road. It states that vehicles with an even registration number can only be driven on even dates, and vehicles having an odd registration number can only be driven during odd dates.

Citizens are encouraged to use public transport for day to day commute. Any breach of the guidelines would lead to severe penalty. The move was welcomed by the population of Delhi and it was expected that it would prove to be a move of high potent in terms of curbing the air pollution issue that the city goes through.

Impact of odd–even Scheme

It was expected that since the number of vehicles on the roads would go down by almost half every day, there would be a huge dip in affluent levels in the air of Delhi. But according to data produced by some renowned environmentalists, overall pollution levels went down by just around 2% during the phase of implementation. Air quality didn’t seem to improve as the AQI recorded during this phase was still fatal.

Reasons Behind Mixed Results

The efficacy of odd – even scheme is debated. On the bright side, the reduction in the count of vehicles on the road lead to decreased traffic congestion. People also promoted the usage of public transport as a healthy practice to save time and environment. On the other hand, overall pollution levels didn’t go down as expected.

One of the sole reasons that we could think of is the exemptions provided by the Delhi Government to women riders and public vehicles. These vehicles were allowed on the roads throughout this period. Delhi Chief Minister Mr. Arvind Kejriwal has also counted stubble burning in the states of Haryana, Punjab, and parts of Uttar Pradesh as a major contributor.

Odd – even scheme is a smart and innovative method of reducing vehicular pollution and promoting public transit. It didn’t turn out to be as effective as expected due to certain other major sources of pollution as explained above.