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February 09, 2016

The Data Is Unambiguous: The Odd-Even Policy Failed To Lower Pollution In Delhi

Shamika Ravi, Felllow at Brookings Institute and Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute writes for the Huffington Post about the effectivness of Delhi's Odd Even rule and presents an analysis of air quality data taken from eight monitoring stations throughout Delhi, collected by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), over 24 days. Excerpts below:


"The basic result of our regression analysis indicates that there is no obvious reduction in the level of any of the pollutants measured by the CPCB in Delhi after the odd-even rule was implemented."


"At the first instance, this result would strike as being quite puzzling, since the number of private cars on Delhi roads have been halved since the plan came into effect. Yet, on deeper thought, these results indicate that perhaps the Delhi government is barking up the wrong tree. Private vehicles might not be the leading cause of pollution in the city air. There are other scientific studies that corroborate our findings, most notably the research from IIT Kanpur which points to other major sources of pollution such as transit freight traffic, agricultural crop burning, municipal solid waste burning, road dust and construction dust."


".....Instead of rushing to declare the success of the odd-even policy, the Delhi government must accept that this has failed to reduce pollution levels in the city. It must, in all honesty, aim beyond the low hanging fruits and extend the policy of experimentation to other major sources of pollution."

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