Effect of Odd-Even Scheme on Pollution Still Uncertain

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After having completed 11 days of the odd-even scheme, the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM) has stated that despite significantly alleviating traffic congestion, the effects of the formula on air pollution are as yet unknown. Besides this, SIAM also commented on how India would become the first country in the world to jump directly from Euro IV to Euro VI, if it happens at all.

Director General of SIAM, Vishnu Mathur, said," As far as plus points of odd-even scheme go, there is less congestion on the roads but has it lowered the air pollution, we don't know. One positive thing for us is that buses will sell more if it continues as public transport will have to be strengthened."

Also Read: Odd Even Formula: The Exemptions

To try and reduce pollution by limiting the number of cars plying on the national capital's roads, the government has put into play an odd-even formula which has been active since 1 January, 2016. Cars with registration numbers ending in odd digits are only allowed to ply on odd dates and even numbered ones on even days. The formula is being implemented only between 8am and 8pm and does not apply to single female drivers, public transport, emergency transport, a list of VIP officials, and hybrid vehicles. All vehicles are exempt from the rule on Sundays.

Speaking with regards to the proposed jump from Euro IV to Euro VI norms, the Deputy Director General of SIAM, Sugato Sen, agreed with what technology providers have been saying- " For developing of vehicles you have to make the Euro V technology first establish over a period of time and then move to Euro VI. That's how it has been done everywhere. In Europe they did not skip directly to Euro VI. They have gone from Euro V to Euro VI. We will be going for the first time if at all we go."

When asked to comment on if the changing of norms would result in the cost of vehicles to go up, Sen said that he wasn't sure because the required investment figures to get Euro V and Euro VI were themselves unknown.

Also Read: Odd-Even Scheme in Delhi to Run Its Course Till January 15 as Planned

"When we moved from carburettor engines to MPFI engines did we see a great rise in product prices or difference in price? I don't think so. Similarly from Euro I, II, III, we have come to Euro IV how much price hike have we seen?" Sen continued. In the wake of alarming pollution levels in major Indian cities, particularly New Delhi, the government has decided to bring forwards the date of implementing the far stricter Bharat Stage (BS) VI emission norms by April 1, 2020. This means that the Indian automotive industry will be forced to completely bypass BS-V altogether. Currently, BS-IV is being followed in certain parts of India with the entire country expected to comply with BS-IV norms by April 1, 2017.

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