Is Delhi’s Odd-Even Rule Really Effective To Clear The Air?
The air in Delhi has been quite bad for the past few years. For days, the air quality has stayed in the ‘severe’ zone. Poor air quality can shorten people’s lives by many years.
Doctors are seeing more patients with coughs and breathing problems. They suggest wearing masks and stepping out only when needed.
The Delhi government is trying again to clean its air through its old scheme. The government has brought back the odd-even plan where cars with odd and even number plates are allowed on the roads on alternate days.
If your car’s number plate ends in an odd number like 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9, you can drive on the 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th of November. For even numbers like 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8, you can drive on the 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th.
This rule doesn’t apply to all; some vehicles like those for emergencies and driven by women with young children are allowed every day.
People are asking if this odd-even thing really helps in fighting air pollution. It’s a mixed bag, really. By having fewer cars on the road, there’s a bit less pollution, but it’s not enough on its own.
Research shows that the pollution drops a little when we do this. Once, the dangerous tiny particles in the air, called PM2.5, went down a bit when Delhi did the odd-even plan.
But another study said that it didn’t really cut down pollution from traffic because people just found other ways to travel or changed their schedules.
Plus, there are a lot of other polluting vehicles that don’t have to follow the odd-even rules, which means they can still add to the pollution. A scientist pointed out that if we really want to see big changes, the rule should apply to all vehicles.
As for gaseous pollution, like nitrogen dioxide, which comes from cars too, the odd-even plan might help reduce that. It’s important because this type of pollution can quickly send people to hospitals with serious problems.
So, even if we’re not sure how much the odd-even rule cuts down the tiny particles, it seems to do some good for the gassy part of the pollution.
But let’s be real, Delhi needs a full, well-thought-out plan that deals with all kinds of pollution, for the long run, so everyone can breathe easier. It’s going to take more than just this odd-even rule to clear up our skies.
In my view, Delhi’s fight for clean air should be equal for all. It’s not fair if only the public follows the odd-even rule. Government leaders, political events, and election rallies should also cut down on cars. Real change needs everyone on board, not just common citizens.