Odd –Even Charcha

Hey, I know that’s trending all the way since the first glimpse came & since then numerous modifications have been planned for Implementation since 1st jan-2015for curbing Delhi’s Particulate matter or rather controlling the same.

Well, quite a debatable topic ,hence I would definitely want readers to share their views over it .

So let’s actually understand the requirement:

  • A 2014 World Health Organisation study4 listed the world’s 20 most polluted cities, with as many as 13 of these in India , with Delhi attaining Rank 1 amongst all ,Pretty BADL
  • Delhi has been termed as the most polluted city in India many times before also, but there was an Air quality survey in Q2 & Greenpeace released the study which stated that the PM Level (Particulate matter) in Delhi is 10 times higher than the limit prescribed by WHO..Oh whopping isn’t it?
  • Delhi has close to 17Mn registered vehicles & close to 12Mn in NCR (highest in the world among all cities)
  • A study by SCE says that around 85-86k commercial vehicles enter & exit Delhi every day from all the 9 entry points (around 5 times higher than MCD’s claim of heavy commercial vehicles)
  • Trucks entering Delhi contribute close to 30% of PM2.5 & sudden spike in PM & Nitrogen Oxides level has been seen during the trucks entry timings in Delhi.

I believe now a layman can very well understand the reason of pollution & Traffic jams besieging India’s heart.

Well ,matter of fact ,these studies measure concentrations of most harmful PM 10 & PM2.5(i.e. particles smaller than 10 or 2.5Microns) ,which reduce the air visibility ,are cause of Smog ,enter into lungs & cause many respiratory problems. While the PM 2.5limit prescribed by WHO is 10 µg/m³,Indian Limit (as such relaxed) is 40 µg/m³& the 2014 WHO Study stated Delhi with average of 152 µg/m³ ( but a very recent data in Oct reflected it to be on a peak of 428 µg/m³ ,somewhat 16 times higher than WHO limit) .These particulates are not just present in the air because of the poor fuel ,but even ammonia from farms & fertilizers (on rampant use)combine with car exhausts & form these deadly particles.

Photo Courtesy: http://indianexpress.com/

Hence, there has been a sudden effort to clean up Delhi’s air & with various other initiatives, Delhi government has come across “Odd –even policy” starting from Jan 1st -15th ‘2016 .Not a new policy ,similar policy was introduced in Beijing in 2008 Olympic games ,which tasted the success in controlling pollution level. Although this was experimented again in 2013 in Beijing but it did not go successful.

In 2014 Paris also experimented with this idea & the banned cars with even nos. , which again got little success.

Mexico city had similar but a better scheme of running the cars with particular last no. on specific days on road (as nos. ending with 5/6 will run on Monday or so) ,which seems to be a better scheme even wrt to frauds /new cars registrations ,done by the people to run their cars on prohibited days.

Well ,with many such experiments ,it has always seemed that this policy is more of experimental nature ,but it seems to be dicey that it is properly implemented for year around.

With so many exceptions to what India is initiating:

  • Women-only cars
  • CNG(should be exempted& promoted)
  • VIP’s ,Police, Emergency vehicles ,Army vehicles
  • Embassy cars
  • 2-Wheelers

& witnessing the Jugaad’s going viral in the lanes of every corner of Delhi in just 200-500 Rs:

  • Fake Number plates (Embossed or with stickers)
  • Reversible plates
  • 2 no. plates ,one ending with Odd & another Even ,Delhi will not be able to achieve their Target .

Such policy requires a strict action ,but with so many vehicles (10-14lac cars)running on the road ,with just handful of Traffic police(close to 4k) & NSS/NCC Volunteers (close to 10k) ,it doesn’t gives me a sense of comfort & success towards running it.

Although to ensure traffic menace, government has planned to run some 4-5k more buses (CNG) & has given more auto permits ,but without public co-operation & stringent implementation ,none of the schemes can go unbeaten.

Not just this one experimental policy, government needs to ensure:

  • Clean & better fuel from the commercial heavy vehicles
  • Implementation of Euro 5/6 with immediate effect from 2016
  • Promoting CNG Vehicles (subsidizing / fining diesel vehicles)
  • Banning of Old vehicles & ensuring every registered vehicle with PUC Check (Heavy fines with no such check)
  • Changing the time of commercial vehicles entering Delhi
  • Promoting “Car Free days” more heavily making Metro connectivity & capacity more robust.
  • Aggressively promoting “Car Pooling ” ,as launching Car Pooling weeks or so

But ,yes ,I’m definitely happy that all these measures & discussions have led people to get out the facts ,understand the criticality ,get aware & contribute towards healthy breathing ,by taking very small initiatives & working hand in hand to make such schemes thriving to make a clean ,green & peaceful Delhi.

Let’s abide by the rule & pledge to initiate little efforts possible at our end to ensure our kids breathe freshness & no deadly particles.


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