oppn parties Give Odd/Even Scheme a Fair Trial

News Snippets

  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
  • PM Modi asks ministers to focus on exports and new areas and sectors
  • PM Modi asks ministers to prepare business continuity plan post the lifting of the lockdown
  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
26 nurses and 3 doctors test positive for COVID-19 at Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, facility cordoned off, no entry or exit permitted from the hospital
oppn parties
Give Odd/Even Scheme a Fair Trial

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-12-07 13:58:46

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The AAP government in Delhi has done well to announce the trial introduction of odd/even number vehicular movement on alternate days in the city from 1st January. This is not something new and has been tried with varying degree of success all over the world. Apart from being one of the most polluted cities in the world, Delhi also witnesses traffic congestions and endless wait at traffic signals. This scheme, by reducing the number of cars on any given day, would also ease the flow of traffic.

The current protests against the scheme, as far as cars are concerned, have been taking elitist tones. People have been saying that citizens will start keeping two cars, one with odd number and the other with even number. But this overlooks the fact that those having such affluence as buy a new car to circumvent the scheme already have many cars.

The problem is that these cars are being used to ferry single members of the family to their different destinations. For instance, one car is used to ferry one child to school, another to ferry another child to college, the next one to take the head of the household to office and still another to take the lady of the house to her social commitments. That is the lifestyle of the rich class and no one can change it. They will of course buy more cars to escape this scheme.

But we should be talking about the middle class. There are many people who stay in the same colony and go to office in the same area in their own vehicles. Socially, they find it unacceptable to share vehicles as there would be immediate sniggers about not being able to afford petrol cost etc. But if this scheme forces them to share a single vehicle to their offices, a lot would be achieved. In that sense, the Delhi scheme has the potential of bringing about a major social revolution while reducing pollution and vehicular congestion.

Of course there are many other problems that this scheme of odd/even numbers might bring up, but condemning it without giving it a fair trial is not good. It will at least make a start to address Delhi’s choking pollution and congestion problems.

But the Delhi government should also give a thought to others things that have raised pollution in Delhi beyond alarming levels. Commercial vehicles above 15 years old should not be allowed to run in the city. Movement of trucks and other load carrying vehicles should be restricted. Cars are privately owned and in most cases well maintained. They pollute much less than ill-maintained buses and other commercial vehicles. Care should be taken that the publicity generated by this odd/even scheme does not make the government to lose focus. Something needs to be done immediately about the real polluting vehicles.