By Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
New Delhi: A day after air pollution breached the ‘hazardous’ 1,000 mark on the Air Quality Index, a steady wind blew much of the smog away, bringing the AQI below the 300 mark in many parts. On the same day, the fourth episode of the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme kicked in, in Delhi.
The scheme was earlier implemented by the Arvind Kejriwal government in January and April 2016, and then in November 2017.
With experts in the past differing on its success in curtailing pollution, the Supreme Court, while hearing the air pollution matter, on Monday, called into question its efficacy.
A brainchild of Kejriwal, the scheme has, in the past, earned him accolades from media abroad despite experts at home and even abroad questioning its benefits.
Experts divided on efficacy
It may be recalled that following the January 2016 exercise, the success of which Kejriwal had claimed, the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), an independent think tank, had stated that there was no conclusive evidence to prove that the odd-even scheme improved Delhi’s air quality or reduced traffic congestion.
It had carried out a study in collaboration with Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.
Later, a joint study by atmospheric scientists of IITs and IIM in 2017 had also noted that there was only partial reduction in pollution levels due to the odd-even scheme.