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CSE favours Odd-Even scheme for immediate impact

Center for Science and Environment (CSE) has called for immediate restraints on the number of vehicles in the city with the implementation of odd and even scheme and parking restraints. The experts in CSE have welcomed the emergency steps of Delhi Government but called for more short-term and long-term measures to control pollution. 

“This emergency situation demands emergency action. These measures will now require stringent enforcement. However, vehicle restraint measures including odd and even and parking restraints must also be included immediately for effective impacts,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE’s Executive Director. 

The peak levels of pollution in Delhi were horrendous and not breathable. On November 5, the four hour averages (12 noon–4 pm) of peak levels were as high as 732 microgramme per cu m in Punjabi Bagh, 762 microgramme per cu m in Mandir Marg and 566 microgramme per cu m in RK Puram.  On Sunday, PM2.5 level was 885 points at Anand Vihar, 891 points at Punjabi Bagh and 974 points at RK Puram. Shockingly, the pm level remained at around 800 throughout the day. 

“Vehicles especially diesel vehicles including diesel trucks and cars should be controlled. Vehicles contribute hugely toxic emissions very close to where people are, thus exposing them to very high toxic risk when pollution remains trapped close to the ground level,” said Vivek Chattopadhyay of CSE.

Along with vehicle restraint measures, the government needs to scale up and intensify the public transport system, he also added. 

He also informed that the major sources of pollution in Delhi are vehicular. “There are around 80 lakh registered vehicles in Delhi which are more than the number of vehicles in rest of the four top metros,” he added. According to estimates, Delhi generates around 60 percent of its pollution while remaining 40 percent comes from outside. 

“Crop burning is seasonal phenomenon which lies only for a few weeks but Delhi needs a long-term policy and effective implementation to control pollution,” he added. 

Globally, emergency action kicks in the moment pollution hits the worst air quality level according to the National Air Quality Index and persists at least for three consecutive days. This is done to immediately reduce peak levels to protect children, those suffering from heart and respiratory problems, and also the general public.

However, Delhi is still waiting for action when pollution level has reached around four times of the safe limit.
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