The third edition of the Odd-Even road rationing scheme, which was implemented in Delhi earlier this month to curb air pollution, came to an end on Friday even the National Capital continues to be plagued by toxic air with the air quality remaining 'severe' at 458 AQI.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the state government may take a decision on 18 November to expand the scheme, which has received mixed reactions in the capital.
The anti-pollution measure started on 4 November as the city's air quality reached the "severe" category but was relaxed for three days " 10 to 12 November " during the 12-day period it was implemented in Delhi.
Firstpost looked at the AQI levels in Delhi between 1 November to 15 November to see how Delhi's air quality fared during the time the scheme was implemented.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia claimed that people were "religiously" following the Odd-Even rule citing a dip in the number of violations " the numbers of challans dropped to 4,885 from 10,021 and 7,300 in the previous two editions " however, the Opposition BJP and Congress termed it an election stunt by the Kejriwal government ahead of the Assembly polls and questioned its efficacy in reducing pollution.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board data, the National Capital saw five days each of very poor and severe air quality. On 12 November, the AQI entered the severe zone (425) and has continued to deteriorate. It was 458 on 15 November, the last day of the scheme.
Speaking to PTI, environmentalist Chandra Bhushan said the data available so far showed the scheme didn't make much difference to air quality. "However, it has reduced congestion on roads," he said. He said exemptions to a large number of vehicles, including women drivers, commercial vehicles and two-wheelers, further reduced the efficiency of the scheme.
The climate change expert said the air quality improved just after the implementation of the odd-even measure because of an increase in wind speed."Delhi recorded its worst AQIs in the last two weeks. The air quality continues to be in the severe category for the last four days," he said.
With inputs from PTI