The odd-even scheme meant there was as much as 30 lakh less cars on the road in Delhi yesterday. Despite this reduction, the impact it had on the overall air quality was virtually zero.
The chart below shows the air quality index readings from the US Embassy in New Delhi. Any reading above 100 is considered unsafe. Yesterday the readings never went below 400.
The US defines this level of pollution as Hazardous and says that it will have a detrimental impact on even the healthiest of people.
The actual amount of PM2.5 particles in the air is around 420 µg/m³. This almost 17 times the safety limit in Europe. Over in Italy, Rome and Milan have put a full ban on cars after the concentration of PM2.5 particles crossed the 25 µg/m³ limit. It puts the efforts of the Delhi Government in to perspective.
It’s still early days for the odd-even scheme in Delhi. With some favourable weather, the smog could be cleared and we’ll be able to see if the reduction in cars is having an impact.
In the meantime, residents of New Delhi should definitely be considering an air purifier to remove these harmful pollutants from their homes.