Will the odd-even car rationing scheme work?

Delhi needs 11,000 new buses, as per an affidavit DTC has submitted to the court. Moreover, DTC has an existing fleet of 3,951 buses of which 21% are 'over-aged' and need to be withdrawn by next year

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | New Delhi | Updated: November 11, 2017 10:07 am
Delhi pollution, Delhi odd-even scheme, odd-even policy, Delhi smog, Delhi air quality, AAP. Arvind Kejriwal, will odd-even work, benefits of odd-even policy, National Green Tribunal The AAP government has decided to bring the odd-even scheme for the third time from November 13-17. File Photo

That really isn’t the question that one should ask. The odd-even scheme, as was demonstrated by Beijing during its implementation in 2008, is dependent on a robust public transport system.

This is simply not the case in Delhi. For instance, Delhi needs 11,000 new buses, as per an affidavit DTC has submitted to the court. Moreover, DTC has an existing fleet of 3,951 buses of which 21 per cent are ‘over-aged’ and need to be withdrawn by next year, underscoring the “urgent need” cited by the body. Do these over-aged buses contribute to pollution? A government official, when asked, said, “Probably.”

The first odd-and-even scheme in 2016, which many say was a success, was meant to be an opportunity. With roads cleared up, the efficacy of Delhi’s public transport system was to be gauged. Problems were meant to be analysed and solved. The scheme was supposed to be followed up with measures like changes in taxation and parking policy to restrain the use of personal vehicles and ensure that commuters chose public transport or car-pool. None of that happened. Nearly 2 years later, with Delhi facing yet another episode of smog, the AAP government has decided to bring about the odd-even scheme, this time for just 5 days. However, first, it has to pass muster with the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Here are some key problems that need to be addressed:

1) Studies about the efficacy of the scheme have been largely inconclusive. While some argue that emission levels dropped marginally, others maintain that this drop can be attributed to changes in weather pattern. The government, meanwhile, admits that with Delhi, now boasting of 48 air quality monitoring stations, the third edition of the scheme would finally prove the efficacy of the scheme.

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2) After its implementation in the Beijing Olympics, the authorities decided to make this a regular feature – an ’emergency’ to be rolled out every time the air becomes hazardous. Will the Delhi government be prepared to do so? “This might be the inevitable course of action that will have to be taken one day,” a government official said.

RELATED REPORT: Delhi pollution: Weatherman predicts easier breathing today

3) A robust public transport system needs to go hand-in-hand with de-incentivising the sale of private vehicles – something which European countries have already done through higher tax rates. This is especially difficult, admits the government, where owning a car is related not just to convenience, ease of movement but also status.

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  1. D
    Nov 11, 2017 at 3:24 pm
    Odd even is a big farce.This time,there is no exemption to women 2-wheelers. Delhites must be prepared for overcrowded buses,fights,thefts,molestation in DTC buses thanks to the free ride scheme by Khuliwal govt. DTC flet has come do2n to less than 4000 where as it was 6000 just 4 years ago. Kanjarwal has killed DTC.
    1. M
      Nov 11, 2017 at 1:43 pm
      QUESTION IS - Will the odd-even car rationing scheme work? NO IT CANT SATISFY ALL NEEDS! BUT THOSE WHO SUFFER WILL HAVE TO BEAR IT!
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        Nov 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm
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        1. D
          Nov 11, 2017 at 11:43 am
          The completion of Phase 3 and Phase 4 of the Delhi Metro must be expedited. Phase 3 of the Metro must be made fully functional by December 2017 and Phase 4 by 2019. Also we need an integrated Transport/Transit Authority with superintendence over all modes of public transport with last mile connectivity. In addition Electric Cars should be incentivized and Charging Stations should be set up by 2018. Car Owners who want to shift to Electric cars must be given incentives like free registration and designated and free parking. Also within 5 years all public transport must run on electric power. For the stubble burning it is imperative to find alternatives so that it is avoided and enforce the ban strictly. With the parti tion of all stakeholders will there be change!
          1. Virendra Grover
            Nov 11, 2017 at 10:54 am
            These are only short term measures. The long term solution is establishing large number of authorised service stations of commercial vehicle manufacturers like tata motors, eicher, SML, ashok leyland etc. These can be set up as startups by Engineering students. The process should start with mandatory industrial training that could be focussed on the factor contributing to excessive emissions. Lead in this respect could be taken by SIAM and CII. If NASSCOM claims 1000 startups in 2017, where is the contribution of CII? this is an opportunity where I give open offer for voluntary service to Industry or Engineering colleges.
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