Major hospitals across the city denied health minister Satyendra Jain’s claim on Sunday that the AAP government’s odd-even rule had resulted in fewer accidents on Delhi roads.
“The number of trauma cases brought to the emergency wing has gone down by 15-20%. In fact, the number of people coming in with head injuries due to accidents has reduced by more than half,” Jain said at the founder’s day event at Lok Nayak Hospital.
However, both government and private hospitals said there had been no change in trauma cases since the 15-day road-rationing trial kicked in on January 1.
A senior doctor at AIIMS’s Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre said, “The numbers have remained more or less the same. The hospital usually receives 150-180 trauma cases every day, not all of which are (road) accidents. To judge whether the odd-even plan has had any impact, data from all 15 days needs to be analysed.”
The view was echoes by doctors at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Sushruta Trauma Centre. Together, the three government hospitals handle around 3,000 trauma cases every month.
Officials at the Lok Nayak Hospital, where Jain spoke on Sunday, too said the numbers were the same as the last week of December. “We receive 9–12 accident cases every day, the same as last week,” a senior official said.
Apollo, in fact, reported an increase in accident cases on some days. “Apollo has not seen a downward trend. In fact, on some foggy days we have even seen a rise in trauma cases,” said Dr Rajendra Prasad, senior consultant in the department of brain and spine at Indraprastha Apollo, but said he could not provide exact numbers. “In my 35 years of experience, 70% of road accident victims are either two-wheeler riders or pedestrians,” he added.
Two-wheelers are exempt from the ambitious odd-even formula which restricts odd-numbered private cars to odd dates and even-numbered to even dates in a bid to clean the city’s notoriously toxic air.
Justice Lodha, however, said it remained to be seen if the arrangement would work. “…I feel it is necessary to have continuous hearings. In this attempt there will be a break of three days. But it’s a good start,” he said.
This is the first time that SC judges will hear constitutional matters after finishing routine work.
A ruling by constitution bench, which has to have at least five judges, can lead to disposal of hundreds or thousands of cases involving the same question of law in trial and high courts.
There are at least 29 important constitutional matters pending with the apex court, sources said. The oldest one is being heard since 1983.
These include Aadhaar scheme challenged on the ground of violation of right to privacy, a terminally ill person’s right to die with dignity (euthanasia), degree of control that the government can exercise on private medical colleges and the Centre’s power to remove a governor.
The CJI has also decided to set up four three-judge benches that will take up around 100 cases referred to larger benches. The oldest one in this category is pending since 1992.
The three-judge benches are headed by justices JS Khehar, Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi.