Paris: Cracking down on the city's rocketing air pollution, officials in Paris have implemented a series of measures, including the odd-even traffic rule on Tuesday.
To halve the emissions from road vehicles, the Paris government has also made public transport free and ordered half of all private cars to keep off the road.
On Friday, Paris city hall has barred half of all cars from traveling and made public transportation free for a fourth consecutive day. It is said that a similar scheme will be implemented in the city of Lyon as the pollution hit various regions across France including the Rhone valley.
The French capital is facing its worse winter pollution in a decade.
In northern France, local authorities have reduced the maximum speed on major roads and urging drivers to resort to car-sharing while residents have been ordered to skip wood fires.
Airparif, air quality monitoring network in Île-de-France, says the peak is due to the accumulation of pollutants because of anticyclonic conditions.
Meanwhile, India's capital Delhi has been grappling with high levels of air pollution since Diwali celebrations. On Thursday, the air quality in the national capital was found to be 'very poor' with the PM concentration reaching 399, just two notches below 'severe' and almost five times that of Paris, which saw the level of PM concentration (PM 10) touching 95 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3).
But, out of the many measures that the capital’s Environment Pollution Control Authority had suggested to tackle the crisis, only one is in place - the ban on diesel generators.
Earlier in January this year, the Delhi government introduced the odd-even scheme for the first time after PM 10 levels cross 430 µg/m3. To tackle New Delhi's foul air, the Supreme Court had approved Centre’s action plan that outlines measures based on air quality, including, four-fold hike in parking fee, ban on entry of trucks, and halt in construction activities. But unfortunately, none of that has happened.
Pollution experts in Delhi believe that poorly managed skills in tackling the crisis may be the reason behind vast difference between air quality standards in India and cities in developed countries.
Considering the current levels of pollution, the Government of India and Intel have entered into a collaboration to initiate joint research for real-time river water and air quality monitoring.
Paris initiative is part of Mayor Anne Hidalgo's push to fight city's exceptionally high pollution and make the city more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists. The scheme has been implemented twice before, in 2014 and 2015, sometimes affecting odd-numbered vehicles and sometimes even-numbered ones.
(With Agency inputs)