Even-Odd Car Formula As A Rule: Possible Impacts

New Delhi, the capital city of India from thousands of years is currently famous adversely due to many wrong activities particularly related with crime on which government want to triumph over those but fail many times. The increasing level of pollution is one such things on which just Green Tribunal warn to state government to do something on that. The government is teasing by this problem of air pollution and wants to overcome on that issue but still has no clear plan. Finally, the state government planned to reduce record level air pollution by limiting the numbers of cars by applying the odd-even formula.

This rule is started from 01 January 2016, on trial basis for two weeks. After assessment of its impacts government will decide whether it is better to continue it or find something different solution. By this rule, the cars with registration numbers (last digit) ends with odd number are allowed on odd dates only and even number is on even dates. This rule is not applicable for Sunday and for night time from 8 pm to 8 am of all other days of week. There is quick economic punishment of on spot Rs. 2000 (approx $30) challan if somebody not following this rule so it is expected people will take this issue seriously. But is such rule effective to control the pollution.

There are few cities in the world those implemented this rule successfully and now in practice. It shows good results too in many aspects. For example the capital city of China, Beijing has this rule from 2008, after the trial at 2007 and it effectively implemented with good results in emission control. But China is strict about the rules and regulation as it is non-democratic country. Is it possible to be such strict in India?

The implementation of use of ever-odd car rule in capital city of India has few drawbacks and those have potential to impact on overall social life of citizens living in that area. Delhi metro railway transportation system is one of the best and beautiful examples of growing India but it has a limit to provide service to citizens. This is delicate system and it is possible to get overburden in coming days due to this rule. The system will collapse and become same as Mumbai’s local railway system where people are travel as either machines or as animals. But that railway system at least not so much delicate and strong enough to provide service by facing the problems of overburden as it is doing currently. New Delhi’s bus transportation system also has a limit to face such problem. Now also there are many passenger don’t get seat in buses in many areas of city. And there are not so much impacts of changing the routes of buses because for these few days it may works as government announced a holiday to schools at January 1, which is followed by Saturday and Sunday but in generally day it will difficult for all to get seat in the bus.

Women are exempted from this rule is most important thing which will increase the number of women drivers in the city. Indian women generally do many works at home from cooking food which is not simple task about Indian food to manage home. This one more task government is going to add in their work list now, to drive car for shopping, to receive somebody, to go with children with school and so on. Second problem to this new formula is it works only from 8 am to 8 pm and last few trial days it was observed that there is big load on traffic system after 8 pm because many people try to avoid the before that. There are approximately 3,000 private buses are running at Delhi city but majority passengers are students so at the holidays those buses are not working in that numbers and people faced the problem of limited buses available at that time.

So who will take benefits of such rule? The simple answer is, the traffic police. Because there is penalty of 2,000 rupees and by paying challen in bank, the violators will give bribe to traffic police and easily run from the place. Second beneficiaries are the auto-rickshaw drivers; they will take benefits of this rule and ask more money from passengers. The increase in numbers and working time of auto-rickshaws will definitely increase the emission level again. In New Delhi city there are private buses are more and frequent compare to public buses and many of them are AC buses so such buses will get benefits due to increasing number of passengers.

Second country implement this rule successfully is France at its capital city, Paris from 2014 but we cannot compare this to Delhi because population of Delhi is 8 times bigger than of Paris and France is well-developed and mature country. The citizens of France are mature and aware enough to understand the importance of rule and obey the rule happily. In case of India, it is somewhat difficult, people will find easy solutions and for many rich people the good solution is to buy two cars, one is with even number and second one will be with odd number.

In that case it will just become as Mexico City where government implement this rule and impacts positively for first few days and then the pollution level started to increase rather than decreased. The people who have no economic capability to buy one more car will drive after pick hours as Colombian drivers at their capital city Bogota and will become responsible for increase in pollution level. If government want to make the pollution level before the rule as baseline then government should think on these issues too.

Here in Tel Aviv, the transportation system is appreciable and ideal for any country. The vehicles are continuously move smoothly without making noise and with obeying all road safety rules. The good transportation system includes public transport by bus, railway and private taxis, cars but priority to walking person. roads are broad and not occupied by small shops on road or footpaths. The best bicycle system available in cheaper rates and nobody feel something wrong in riding bicycles instead of car. In India, for many people driving own car is prestigious point as it reflects their good economic condition but they don’t know that now in this changing environment own car for unnecessary purpose reflects their social and environmental unawareness. In Israel, if somebody want to cross the road the cars and other vehicles give priority to him first which is almost not possible in India. Smooth driving, availability of effective public transport, speed regulations, use of current technologies are the key points of successful transportation of Israel. Can we learn something from this? 

In conclusion, though this Even-Odd car plan is implemented by government in good intention, the Delhi state government need to do study on this before implementing after the trial and error periods.

About the Author
Kapilkumar is an Indian research fellow at Tel Aviv University. His academic background is of environmental science. He studied journalism at Pune University, India and completed his intern at Lokmat newspaper, one of the leading newspapers in Maharashtra state of India. Kapilkumar is interested in addressing the challenges relating to climate change by using the fields of journalism and environment together.
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