The first working day of the year saw commuters making quite an effort to follow the plan — which speaks for volumes about the city’s resident’s willingness to lessen pollution levels — but the day didn’t quite pan out without offenders (around 500 offenders were booked till around 7pm, according to Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai) and no chaos.
As is the case in 2015, people look out at Twitter for most real-time updates, and the micro-blogging site did not disappoint. Tweets flew across the World Wide Web from Delhiites — from initial tweets thanking the plan for empty roads to a slew of picture tweets of overcrowded Metro stations, primarily the biggest convergence point, the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station.
— Bhakt’s GOD™ (@BhaktsGOD) January 4, 2016
The point to note here, though, is that some of the images doing the rounds on social media turned out to be old, or even fake. There was one image in particular that was shared widely, but then that turned out to be an archive picture from 2014.
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) January 4, 2016
According to Rai, some elements were trying to “misguide people” and sabotage the scheme by circulating old and false pictures of an overcrowded Rajiv Chowk Metro station in social media and creating panic.
“There were attempts to spread misinformation and misguide people by circulating old and false pictures of overcrowded Rajiv Chowk Metro station in social media. I spoke to Metro officials and took a feedback of 50 stations, and we were informed that the crowd today was less than the peak crowd recorded in December in the past and the picture which was posted was of October 22,” he said.
— Nimbupaani (@Nimbupaani) January 4, 2016
— Gaurav Gupta (@90Guptagaurav) January 4, 2016
— Parul Tyagi (@parultyagi22) January 4, 2016
— RaajaBeta (@raajabeta) January 4, 2016
Of course, there were those who called it out as it was.
80 percent of the crowd in Rajiv chowk is made of people who went to take pictures of the crowd
— Priyanka Lahiri (@lahirip) January 4, 2016
Since morning, Twitter trends had a list of hashtags and catch-words around the odd-even formula, but the those that seemed to have caught on were #OddEvenBhaiBhai and #OddEvenMovement. But then, the former’s plea for brotherhood (and carpooling, as it was floated by cab company Meru) took on a life of its own, with tweeple not quite agreeing with the “BhaiBhai” sentiment, under pressures of dealing with the crowd and traffic.
Of course, there were those that saw the lighter side of things.
— Ankita Taori (@AnkitaTaori) January 4, 2016
— PK (@NaamNahiHai1) January 4, 2016
— Wisdom Tooth (@Semitangled) January 4, 2016
And when emotions are high, an angry tweet or two usually find their way to the idea originator.
— IRFAN NAQIB (@naqib_irfan) January 4, 2016
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