8 days of the odd-even rule in Delhi and reports indicate a largely positive atmosphere. Literally.
According to the Delhi government, P.M. 2.5 levels saw a consistent decline due to the odd-even rule in the nation’s capital. Delhi Transport Minister, Gopal Rai further told the country on Thursday that “In December, PM 2.5 was at an average of 400 to 465 (six fixed pollution stations) . The data of 18 locations taken yesterday was less than 300.”
At an average, the levels have dropped by nearly 100 points signifying a drop in pollution by 25%. The worst air quality was measured near Tajpur (294) whereas the minimum particulate levels were measured at Dhaula Kuan (161).
The repeated concern over the air quality in areas bordering Delhi continues to bother the government and officials. This may be due to a large number of commercial vehicles plying on these routes, moving in and out of Delhi.
However, areas within Delhi were showing significant improvement in air quality. This observation is significant also because it indicates the acceptance of the Odd-Even rule by the commuters traveling in and around the various CBDs in Delhi. We believe that this change represents a positive shift in the mindset of the commuters.
But that’s not all. Data claims that there has been a 30% reduction in traffic volume due to the implementation of the rule. The violations have generated Rs 40 lakh (as reported on 6th January) in challans. The traffic police, in this time, had booked 401 drivers whereas the transport department booked 207 offenders. In total, over 600 challans were issued by the SDM.
The police reported that traffic norms were largely being followed and there were areas where no challans were issued, also an optimistic report for the next half of the experiment.
The change has been visible in other sectors as well, with petrol and diesel sales down by nearly 25% since January 1, as reported by ET. The number of cars coming in for servicing and repairs have also dropped significantly.
The Metro and DTC have been largely successful in handling the additional volume of commuters. The influx has been matched by an increased frequency of operation in the case of the Metro, which has been carrying 32 lakh passengers and an increased number of buses on the road in the case of the DTC, which has been handling nearly 40-45 lakh passengers.
All this points to a largely positive second half for the odd-even formula in Delhi. Although violations have not exactly gone down, a large section of the public has accepted the experiment which seems to be helping in making a difference.