The Aam Aadmi Party government has consistently regarded Odd-Even scheme as an effective, scientifically proven emergency measure to reduce peak pollution levels and thereby limit the health effects of pollution. Independent and rigorous analysis by several researchers in India and abroad during the last two rounds of odd-even provide ample evidence of its impact. It is surprising that despite the broad consensus among the scientific community on the impact of Odd Even, Opposition parties are opposing the move for the sake of registering their voice, at the cost of the environment.
This study by researchers at Harvard University’s Evidence for Policy Design and Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC) show that Relative to surrounding satellite cities, fine particle concentrations in Delhi’s air were lower by 13% during the January 2016 pilot but had limited impact in April 2016 pilot due to warmer weather.
Another Study by MIT researcher Gabriel Kriendler (working paper) shows that both January and April 2016 pilots were equally successful in reducing congestion on roads and in making people switch from private cars to other modes of transport.
The Study by School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi shows that congestion and traffic volume has reduced significantly during the scheme period, while the average speed of vehicles increased to 50 kmph during the plan period from speed of 20-25 kmph on any other day prior to scheme being implemented.
The Study by CSE shows that during January 2016 pilot, peak levels of pollution decreased in comparison to previous smog episodes that season, and that the per-capita emissions of car users dropped considerably.
In addition, there is strong evidence of effectiveness of odd-even from several other cities that have consistently deployed odd-even as an effective emergency measure. Beijing has reported 38% reduction in PM10 due to odd-even and Paris 6%. AAP government will continue to learn and further refine its implementation of Odd-Even so as to maximise the impact of this emergency measure. At the same time, we acknowledge this is no substitute for long-term measures that directly addresses the source of pollution and we will continue to work in that direction.
Ashutosh is a senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party.