Odd--even traffic rule implementation during winter 2016 in Delhi did not reduce traffic emissions of VOCs, carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide.

B. P. Chandra, V. Sinha*, H. Hakkim, Ashish Kumar, H. Pawar, A. K. Mishra, G. Sharma, Pallavi, S. Garg, Sachin D. Ghude, D. M. Chate, Prakash Pithani, Rachana Kulkarni, R. K. Jenamani, M. Rajeevan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied the impact of the odd-even traffic rule (implemented in Delhi during 1-15 January 2016) on primary traffic emissions using measurements of 13 volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and methane at a strategic arterial road in Delhi (28.57°N, 77.11°E, 220 m amsl). Whole air samples (n = 27) were collected during the odd-even rule active (OA) and inactive (OI) days, and analysed at the IISER Mohali Atmospheric Chemistry Facility. The average mass concentration ranking and toluene/ benzene ratio were characteristic of primary traffic emissions in both OA and OI samples, with the largest fraction comprising aromatic compounds (55- 70% of total). Statistical tests showed likely increase (p ≤ 0.16; OA > OI) in median concentration of 13 out of 16 measured gases during morning and afternoon periods (sampling hours: 07: 00-08: 00 and 13: 30- 14: 30 IST), whereas no significant difference was observed for evening samples (sampling hour: 19: 00- 20: 00 IST). This suggests that many four-wheeler users chose to commute earlier, to beat the 8: 00 AM- 8: 00 PM restrictions, and/or there was an increase in the number of exempted public transport vehicles. Thus, the odd-even rule did not result in anticipated traffic emission reductions in January 2016, likely due to the changed temporal and fleet emission behaviour triggered in response to the regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1318-1325
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We thank Prof. N. Sathyamurthy (founder Director, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali), the Director General of India Meteorological Department, New Delhi and Professor G. S. Bhat (Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru) for support. We also thank the IISER Mohali Atmospheric Chemistry Facility; Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune; Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India for support and funding. B.P.C. thanks the Council of Scientific Industrial Research, New Delhi for SRF.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Current Science Association, Bengaluru.


  • Odd-even rule
  • Pollution
  • PTR-MS
  • Traffic
  • VOCs

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