The influence of odd–even car trial on fine and coarse particles in Delhi

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The odd-even car trial scheme, which reduced car traffic between 08.00 and 20.00 h daily, was applied from 1 to 15 January 2016 (winter scheme, WS) and 15–30 April 2016 (summer scheme, SS). The daily average PM 2.5 and PM 10 exceeded national standards, with highest concentrations (313 μg m −3 and 639 μg m −3 , respectively) during winter and lowest (53 μg m −3 and 130 μg m −3 ) during the monsoon (June–August). PM concentrations during the trials can be interpreted either as reduced or increased, depending on the periods used for comparison purposes. For example, hourly average net PM 2.5 and PM 10 (after subtracting the baseline concentrations) reduced by up to 74% during the majority (after 1100 h) of trial hours compared with the corresponding hours during the previous year. Conversely, daily average PM 2.5 and PM 10 were higher by up to 3–times during the trial periods when compared with the pre–trial days. A careful analysis of the data shows that the trials generated cleaner air for certain hours of the day but the persistence of overnight emissions from heavy goods vehicles into the morning odd–even hours (0800–1100 h) made them probably ineffective at this time. Any further trial will need to be planned very carefully if an effect due to traffic alone is to be differentiated from the larger effect caused by changes in meteorology and especially wind direction.




Kumar, P., Gulia, S., Harrison, R. M., & Khare, M. (2017). The influence of odd–even car trial on fine and coarse particles in Delhi. Environmental Pollution, 225, 20–30.

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