Government of Delhi initiated Odd – Even plan from 1st Jan, 2016. It is likely to last till 15th of Jan, 2016. The program means, cars ending with odd numbers will ply on odd dates, while cars ending with even number will be allowed to come out on even dates. The objective of the move was to bring down pollution level in Delhi. However, the plan was criticized because bikes were allowed to ply, single women and women with children were allowed ply. Not to mention, emergency vehicles and VIP cavalcade etc.
Many had prophesied that the move will fail. Delhi wallahs love their car. They may never accept the proposal. Strangely, majority followed the directions, coupled with efficient implementation and heavy fine by police. But strangely, pollution did not come down significantly after five days. So what should we call the move – a success or a failure? The following is my take.
- After the odd even car rule started, I drove for the first time. Honestly, I was happy with my experience. There was less number of cars on the street. Several vulnerable points still had jams. But these were less acute than before.
- Getting people used to public transport will go a long way toward national fuel bill and public health. Citizens will spend less money on fuel, so will the nation. This may lead to greater savings.
- Cities will become more livable. With less number of car plying daily, eventually there will be less pollution. So it will be good for health.
- Pollution results from a complex set of factors which include vehicular emission, dust from construction sites, digging up of roads, buring of waste and farmlands from around NCR. All these factors couples with heaviness in the atmosphere in winter months make dust particles settle down. I think coupled with Odd – Even plan, government must try to address other contributing factors of pollution as well. Though actual pollution level did not come down significantly, and this was the primary goal of odd - even experiment, I think government must continue with odd - even experiment.
Government must provide alternative transport facility - Metro, Tram, Electric bus, better cabs, bicycle tracks etc. Simply making odd - even rule will fail, if government does not work on providing better public transport options. People of Delhi have supported the scheme of Odd and Even. Now government has to support zeal of citizens by providing facility. Delhi police has acted commendably by enforcing government policy. Let us hope not only Delhi other Indian cities also adopt similar strategy. Let us hope for a clean, green and healthy India.