Will Delhi roll out odd-even to tackle pollution? Last weapon, says minister
Delhi is on the verge of once again breathing in toxic air, a yearly problem in the capital city that is notorious for high pollution levels, especially in winter months. And while a variety of factors are believed to contribute to worsening AQI levels each year at the start of the winter months, vehicular emissions are one of the culprits too, as per studies. As such, the odd-even road traffic rationing scheme has been implemented in the past to help bring down pollution but is being seen as a last option of sorts this year.
Delhi Environment Minister Goapl Rai has said that the road traffic rationing scheme is a possibility this season in one of the many efforts to contain the rising pollution levels, but only as a last weapon. ""We have implemented the odd-even scheme several times in Delhi and it will be our last weapon. Odd-even is also a way to reduce vehicular pollution so right now we are completely focusing on this ('Red Light On, Gaadi off') campaign and if all other programmes don't work then the government will think about implementing the odd-even scheme," he said.
The 'Red Light On, Gaadi off' campaign was announced by CM Arvind Kejriwal who urged locals to turn ignition off while waiting for traffic signals to switch to green. He said that the emissions from cars idling at signals could be brought down this way.
While the potential benefit of this campaign is yet to be examined because it was only introduced recently, the odd-even scheme has evoked mixed reactions with varying degree of results. While some believe it does help in the fight against pollution, others say that any potential benefit is too small to make any real difference. It has been implemented thrice in previous years, starting first in 2016. It was last implemented in November of 2019.