After some initial hiccups, Delhi government's odd-even policy was implemented on 1 January 2016. It marks the beginning of a 15-day trial aimed at countering air pollution.
While there were speculations on whether the formula would actually work, the data released by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) shows that pollution levels at 20 locations saw a decline on the first day of trail.
According to a report published in The Hindu, the DPCC data showed that the levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were about 5 to 10 per cent lower on 1 January than on 31 December 2015 and were 40 per cent less compared to the average for the same time of the season in previous years.
Data collected from 20 locations
Mobile dust samplers, which use the light scattering technique, were deployed at 20 locations of Seemapuri, Rohtas Nagar, Patparganj, Central Delhi, Kasturba Nagar, Malviya Nagar and Kondali in order to record the impact of the new policy on first day of trail.
Levels of PM2.5
According to the data, the level of PM2.5 was between 121 to 226 micrograms per cubic metre at these 20 locations on 1 January.
This is reportedly 40 per cent less than the average of 250 microgarms per cubic metre observed across Delhi in previous years.
Levels of PM10
Levels of coarse particulate matter (PM10) ranged between 149 and 503 micrograms per cubic metre. The average PM10 level was about 25 to 40 per cent less than the average for previous years, which is around 400 to 500 micrograms per cubic metre.
A sigh of relief for choking roads
Apart from the drop in pollution levels, there was reportedly less congestion seen on the roads in the capital. People, driving on the day, said that it took them lesser time to reach their destination in comparison to the previous day.
Still a long way to go
However, the data released by DPCC also showed that the levels of PM2.5 and PM10 are still above the normal. According to the data, even though the average levels of PM2.5 level at the 20 spots these was 149 micrograms per cubic metre, it was over two times the standard of 60. Same is the case with PM10 which with an average of 303 micrograms per cubic metre was still three times the standard of 100.
The DPCC will reportedly continue monitoring the air quality in 20 to 25 locations every day, apart from Sundays, till 15 January.