The Delhi govt. is all set to curb the pollution level of the capital. After that one week of Swachh Delhi Abhiyan through the Swachh Delhi App, it’s ready to take the next step towards a better air quality index. From January 2016 onwards on alternate days, cars with odd and even numbers on their plate would ply respectively- called the road space rationing. Also the Badarpur Thermal Plant would be shut down due to its pollution issues (not clear on how the power needs will be fulfilled which were earlier being delivered from here). What intrigues more is the question whether the capital is ready for such a big move?
Well we all know that we need to increase the green belt, pool cars and try to give our share in controlling the pollution done by plastic and other such disposes. But it is the odd-even system that we all are fancying right now, something inspired from Beijing. Unfortunately what we forget is the difference in the support system, surroundings and the administrative set up. The need to curb pollution is the urgent need of the hour. The system has been a success in China, and is no doubt a good strategy to begin with only the support system strong enough to help it reflect the maximum results. But without a prior planning this odd-even system won’t be so helpful.
Here are few things that might cause a hindrance in getting the maximum outcome and the loopholes that need to be filled-
- Monitoring- The Beijing system used a technical system to monitor whether this traffic rule is being followed or not. It is still not clear how will Delhi be monitoring the vehicles. CNG vehicles and public taxis have been excluded from the restriction. Thus with these exclusions, it would be difficult in monitoring the system. Also, traffic police won’t be sufficient for this.
- Public transport- Every morning at bus stands you’ll find difficulty in even reaching the door of the bus, leave apart boarding it. The Delhi Metro, though world-class, is still too crowded to get the brunt of the extra people boarding it. It is the safety factor that makes people wry away from these public transports. Is the Delhi Public Transport system well enough to carry the number increase in the takers for the public service. As far as daily commuters are concerned, the DTC is already seen too overcrowded and equally unsafe, with the number of pick-pocketing and teasing. It has always been the poor public transport system that has compelled people to always desire for their personal vehicle. The public transport isn’t great to fall back on.
- Comfort and the Money Matters- Let’s put our math to use; let’s add the amount a person would be spending if they have to travel to some NCR area where the reach of public transport is not so good. The person would first be paying the cost of rickshaw from home to metro station+ metro travel cost+ auto-rickshaw cost to the office. Apart from this the increased time spent in travelling can upset people.
- Voluntarism- The comfort and money issues fuels the lack of voluntarism in us. There would always be some people amongst us who whatever-may-happen would love defy the norms and others who would anyhow try to sneak away from the monitoring eyes.
- On the comic note- Well, I seriously don’t have any confusion whether zero is even or not as I’ve always considered that two multiplied by zero is zero, therefore making it an even number. On another note, for those who have enough money and don’t want to contribute to this noble cause of making the air breath worthy, can buy two cars- one with odd number plate and the other with an even. While e-marketing sites too would get a new idea to advertise- buy a second hand car with the opposite numbers from your own one.
Though, there are some problems, but it’s high time that we put on our shoes and start giving our share towards the environment conservation while the government must see to all the faces of the system they are going to implement and thus affect many. They should see if the support system is capable enough to be the backbone. For a bigger leap we need to take a step back- to enhancing the already present services to provide a better backbone to the newer ones. Hope that the system would keep on evolving with time. Change begins with the first step; it’s time to initiate it.