New Research says odd-even Strategy in Delhi Contributed to an increase in number of vehicles and Thus, emissions

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There appears to be no early end to this argument on if the odd-even strategy implemented from the Delhi Government in January 2016 was a victory or not.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational picture. PTI

A new research study, published in the journal Current Science, signals that the rule didn’t lead to a reduction in vehicular emissions, and surprisingly, also resulted in a general growth in emissions. It’s discovered that there has been a substantial gain in the median concentration of gases which were quantified from air samples as chemical tracers for vehicular emissions.

The median concentration of 13 from the 16 gases measured were higher in morning (7 am to 8 am) and afternoon hours (1.30 pm to 2.30 pm) on days once the plot was implemented as contrary to three arbitrary benchmark days before and following the fortnight-long odd-even effort.

Talking to India Science Wire, Dr Vinayak Sinha, a part of the study team from IISER, clarified the greater concentration of gases was probably because of the simple fact that although there was a decline in the amount of automobiles, there was an increase in the amount of different vehicles on the street: public transportation trucks, buses, two wheelers, three wheelers along with CNG-operated automobiles which were exempted from the strategy.

A study from the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) had discovered that the daily average number of automobiles rose by 10 percent throughout the odd-even interval in January 2016 compared to previous week of December 2015. The growth was attributed mostly to a 17 percent boost in two-wheelers, 12 percent boost in three-wheelers, 22 percent increase in taxis and 138 percent increase in the amount of buses.

Additionally, a high number of private vehicle owners appeared to have chosen to sail before in the afternoon and later in the day, prior to and after the odd-even rule had been enforced (from 8 am to 8 pm) to prevent penalty.

The research says “that the odd-even rule could have led to traffic decongestion during peak hours, which might certainly have profited commuters. But it also has to be considered that improved traffic emissions through times of the evening once the dilution effect because of the atmospheric boundary layer is reduced (early morning until 8 am and during the night after midnight) can result in high peak concentration vulnerability for many health-relevant carcinogenic VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) such as benzene”.

The report indicated that in future, arrangements are designed for deploying methods for internet measurement of VOCs at various tactical websites and webcams at sampling sites to find a better image of the quantity and kind of vehicles coming by. This might help address existing doubts with respect to organizational origin apportionment of air pollutants.

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