Air quality benefits of odd-even vehicle rationing programme in Delhi: An analysis of week 1

The odd-even vehicle rationing scheme  implemented as an emergency measure to control air pollution during winter in Delhi has reduced the pollution load from cars by 40% and the government must be permitted to continue it till January 2016, says this report prepared by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) of National Capital Region (NCR). 

This winter has witnessed extremely high level of pollution. Typical winter conditions -- cold temperature, lower mixing height of air, calm and no-wind conditions trap air and pollution. As a result, pollution builds up very quickly and peaks. This is why winter months require tougher emergency action to reduce pollution. Weather is an important constraint in pollution management. The odd and even programme has been implemented as an emergency action to arrest the high emergency peak when the overall pollution levels have gone 5 to 6 times higher than the standards. This is needed to protect public health in a city where every third child has impaired lungs.