Amid the Chest Thumping Politics Over Odd-Even, Will Delhi Get Rid of Pollution?

Posted by Anju on October 10th, 2019

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced the return of Odd-Even scheme in Delhi. He announced that from 4th to 15th November the Delhi government will implement the odd-even scheme in Delhi to tackle the rising pollution levels in Delhi.

The government has chosen to re-implement the Odd-Even scheme in November only because in that month farmers burn crops in the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana. Due to which Delhi becomes a gas chamber. 

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Let us tell you that the odd-even scheme was first implemented in the year 2016. The first phase of this scheme was implemented from 1st -15th January 2016, the second phase was implemented from 15th April to 30th April 2016. 

What is the Odd-Even Scheme?

The odd-even scheme is a car rationing scheme. Under this scheme cars with license plates ending in an odd and even number are allowed on roads on alternate days, except weekends. 

This means cars whose number plate ends with 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 are allowed on roads on even dates i.e. 4,6,8 and so on. 

Similarly, cars whose number plate ends with odd numbers 1,3,5,7,9 will be allowed on roads on odd dates i.e. 5,7,9 and so on. 

Let us tell you that the odd-even scheme was adopted from countries like China and European countries. 

In the initial phase of Odd-Even scheme, the government exempted women, VIPs, and two-wheelers.

Result of Odd-Even Scheme

After the implementation of the first phase of the Odd-Even scheme, a study was published which stated that there was only a marginal drop in the PM 2.5 levels during the first phase of the scheme.

Another study conducted by atmospheric scientists revealed that pollution levels declined only by 2%-3% in the first phase. 

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The study also revealed that only three areas in Delhi—Najafgarh, Shalimar Bagh and Greater Kailash—witnessed an 8%-10% drop in pollution.

However, executive director of Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago Dr. Ken Lee had said the pilot scheme in January 2016 had “reduced particulate air pollution concentrations by 14 to 16%”. 

Public Reaction of Odd-Even Scheme
Our team went on the ground to know what people think about the re-implementation of Odd-Even scheme. We got a mixed reaction. Few people felt that this move by the Delhi government is correct as it will help in the reduction of pollution. While some felt that this move is correct but the decision to implement one day ban on crackers during Diwali won’t affect the pollution levels as rest of the year or during New Year eve whole world burst crackers. 

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Some people were not happy with this decision as they felt that the last time the government implemented this scheme there was not much effect on the pollution levels in Delhi. Many people who had one car faced a lot of problems like there travel time to their work increased as they had to switch modes of transportation. 

While there are the third set of people who feels that this decision is correct but it should not be implemented for a limited period and to one state only. This scheme should be implemented all over India and the state governments should promote cab sharing and vehicle sharing.


In our opinion this step is correct but implementing it for just 15 days out of 365 days won't bring a drastic change. No doubt that it will help in bringing down the traffic on roads but, vehicles are not the only source of pollution. Many industries cause more pollution than vehicles on roads. Along with these baby steps, the government needs to make stringent laws to curb the emission from these industries.  


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Joined: October 10th, 2019
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