Nearly two months after its submission, the AAP government is yet to release the IIT-Kanpur report on Delhi’s air quality, product of a two-year-long comprehensive study, despite senior officials and green experts arguing for it to be made public.
The report, among its other findings, identifies ‘road dust’ as the biggest source of particulate matter, pegging it at 38 per cent, and stresses almost one third of the levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 can be attributed to emissions from outside Delhi.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has shared few details of the ‘Source Apportionment Study’.
It says vehicular emissions contribute to around 25 per cent of the total level of pollutants during winters, which goes down to 9 per cent in the summer season. The Sheila Dikshit government had commissioned the study.
The government, in a major intervention, decided to implement the ‘odd-even’ car rationing scheme from January 1, which has restricted the plying of four-wheelers in the city to every alternate day.
Experts said that while the draft report does not absolve vehicles completely, it lists a number of other sources as originators of pollutants.
"It is the most latest assessment of air quality and releasing it will only help in understanding the conditions better. The government should expeditiously finalise the draft report and release it," CSE’s Anumita Roychowdhary said.
Top officials had suggested, last month itself, to put the report, "that runs over 300 pages", in the public domain so that a lid could be put over "kite flying" on its findings, which the government itself referred to recently.
"The concerned Minister has been suggested repeatedly that the report be made public in its entirety so that it can also get enriched with public feedback," sources said.
The government, in an official statement, recently referred to "speculations" in sections of the media with regards to the report and claimed that "lots of erroneous interpretations have also been made".
When asked, government officials said it will be released for the "public as and when required" and that it has "shared the synopsis in any case."
PM 2.5 and PM 10, major pollutants in Delhi’s air, are microscopic particles that can embed themselves deep into the lungs and subsequently enter the bloodstream. Their safe limits are 60 and 100 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.