NEW DELHI: Take a deep breath. As New Year dawns midweek, around 14 lakh cars and other four-wheelers will be off the road in Delhi for 15 days. The scheme will be applicable to private four-wheelers, of which there are 26,40,809 are cars, 74,191 vans, 67,464 jeeps, 8,577 other four-wheelers and around 100 tractors. Around seven lakh private vehicles enter Delhi from other states daily. The Delhi government claims that with the odd-even number formula, around 14 lakh cars, including vehicles from other states, will be off the road in the city starting January 1, 2016.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency data, motor vehicles are responsible for 75 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions. In urban areas, harmful automotive emissions are responsible for around 45 per cent of air pollution. The World Health Organisation prescribes levels of particulate matter (PM2.5) at 25 microgram/m3 as safe. The Central Pollution Control Board says it should be around 60 microgram/m3. “With around 40 to 50 per cent of private cars off the road, the pollution levels will come down drastically. How much, is unpredictable but yes, definitely to a large extent the air will be better,” Anumita Roy Chowdhury, Executive Director (Research) of the Centre for Science and Environment told The Sunday Standard. However, she also says two-wheelers are responsible for one-third of vehicular pollution in Delhi.