Delhi air pollution drops 20-25 percent: Minister

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) Air pollution declined by 20-25 percent in the national capital during the implementation of the odd-even car plying scheme from January 1 to 15, Delhi’s Transport Minister Gopal Rai on Friday.

Four-wheelers with odd and even registration numbers plied on Delhi’s roads on alternate dates during the fortnight on a pilot basis.

“The odd-even formula was successful in Delhi, reducing the pollution level by 20-25 percent,” Rai said hours before the scheme came to an end.

He said the maximum PM 2.5 level (particulate matter with diameter below 2.5 microns, responsible for pollution) was above 600 micrograms/m3 while the average was above 400 micrograms/m3 in December 2015 as per the six permanent pollution measuring stations in Delhi.

The minister said air samples collected by around 20 mobile teams of Delhi Pollution Control Committee from different locations during the odd-even scheme showed that pollution levels in inner Delhi areas had gone down.

“In inner Delhi, the average PM 2.5 level was around 300 micrograms/m3. However, it remained around 400 micrograms/m3 in border areas,” Rai said.

He said of the 9,144 challans issued against violators, 2,889 were issued by the Delhi Traffic Police and 6,255 by the transport department and sub-divisional magistrates.

Rai said 4,500 people availed of the carpool facility provided by the Delhi government’s PoochhO App.

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