Odd-even number vehicles deployed globally to reduce pollution

Beijing, Dec 4 (IANS) Odd and even number vehicles have been deployed globally, including in major metropolitan cities like Beijing, Sao Paulo and most recently in the Indian capital of New Delhi, in a bid to reduce alarming pollution levels.

During the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing implemented a temporary “road space rationing” based on plate numbers for two months before a modified version of the restriction was made permanent in Beijing in October 2008 that now bans 20 percent of the vehicles on a given weekday.

The Chinese capital on Sunday issued its highest smog alert of the year, upgrading it from the yellow of the past two days to orange, second only to red.

According to health sources, China is expected to have over 800,000 lung cancer patients diagnosed annually by 2020, with nearly 700,000 people dying from the disease each year.

Meanwhile, Brazilian city Sao Paulo has “no-drive days” based on license numbers, implemented since 1997.

The 2012 Summer Olympics was publicised as the “First Car-free Olympics” due to ‘auto exclusion zones’ around venues.

The policy has been also implemented in the Nigerian capital Lagos in 1976 due to over 150,000 cars swarming the streets every day with several thousand more vehicles from outlying areas contributing to massive traffic jams.

Dubai where vehicle density is at 540 per 1,000 people, it has identified and considered within its studies a number of travel demand management measures and transportation policies including even-odd plate numbers.

The policy will take effect in the Indian capital from January 1, 2016. Delhi’s vehicular numbers – which cause choking jams on all weekdays – include some 27 lakh cars.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the air quality of Delhi is said to be “very poor” with an air quality index of 331.

When air quality index ranges between 301 and 400, the air is said to cause respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.

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