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What initiatives were taken to reduce vehicular air pollution in Delhi? Has air quality improved in Delhi?

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Several initiatives have been taken to reduce vehicular air pollution in Delhi, which has been one of the major contributors to air pollution in the city. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Introduction of CNG: The Delhi government introduced compressed natural gas (CNG) as a fuel for public transport vehicles in the late 1990s. CNG emits fewer pollutants than diesel or petrol, resulting in lower air pollution levels.
  • Ban on older vehicles: The Delhi government has implemented several measures to restrict the entry of older and more polluting vehicles into the city. In 2016, the government banned the registration of diesel vehicles over 2000 cc and petrol vehicles over 2500 cc.
  • Implementation of Bharat Stage norms: The Delhi government has been implementing the Bharat Stage emission standards for vehicles. These standards specify the maximum permissible levels of pollutants that vehicles can emit.
  • Promotion of electric vehicles: The Delhi government has been promoting the adoption of electric vehicles to reduce air pollution levels.
  • Odd-Even rule: In 2016, the Delhi government implemented an odd-even rule under which vehicles with odd-numbered registration plates were allowed on the roads on odd dates, and those with even-numbered registration plates were allowed on even dates. The rule was aimed at reducing traffic congestion and air pollution levels.

There has been some improvement in air quality in Delhi due to these initiatives, especially in terms of particulate matter (PM) levels. The average PM2.5 levels in Delhi decreased from 154 micrograms per cubic meter in 2014 to 104 micrograms per cubic meter in 2019. However, air pollution levels still remain high, and there is a need for continued efforts to reduce air pollution in Delhi.

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