#OddEven in Delhi: Effective or eyewash? Denizens divided

Delhiites seem divided over the government’s proposal to bring back the traffic scheme in the Capital, to curb pollution.
The Delhi government is planning to bring back its ‘odd-even’ rule for traffic in an attempt to control pollution. (Photo: Sanchit Khanna/HT)
The Delhi government is planning to bring back its ‘odd-even’ rule for traffic in an attempt to control pollution. (Photo: Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Published on Nov 24, 2021 12:05 PM IST
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ByAnjuri Nayar Singh, New Delhi

Gearing up to work from office or hit the road for a getaway? Hold that thought; you may need to check number plates of your vehicles, for the return of odd-even is imminent. To curb alarming pollution levels, the Delhi government is mulling over bringing back the traffic scheme, according to which one can drive only odd/even numbered vehicles in the Capital, based on the last digit of their number plates. While some feel this will help control smog, others denizens are of the opinion that it is nothing more than an eyewash

At last, a start

“Anything that we can do to curb pollution will make a difference. And we must go for it. Our office has always supported this and will accommodate it this time as well. During the pandemic, everyone has been working from home and I’m sure in this scenario too, the corporate sector will support the WFH option for the ease of employees following odd-even,” says Charu Puri, marketing professional from Safdarjung Enclave.

“Odd-even certainly helped reduced traffic on the roads in the past, and possibly helped in controlling pollution as well. There is no denying that it encourages people to use public transport. Though it causes some inconvenience, especially to those who don’t have an alternative personal vehicle, but it also encourages carpooling among both the private and government sector employees. The Supreme Court and High Court judges have adopted carpooling voluntarily. If they can, why can’t the rest do so, to ensure a better environment for our future generations,” asks Nidhi Dhull, advocate from Saket.

“Vehicular smoke makes it tough for people to breathe. I’ve seen children suffer during smog and the pollutants that come out of any of these cars make it tougher for people to breathe. If the number of vehicles on the roads can be reduced, it would definitely be beneficial. But a well laid public transport system is the real solution in the long run,” says Dr Anuradha Kishore, a paediatrician from New Friends Colony.

Just an eyewash!

“The core issues need to be addressed first. If those issues are not dealt with, odd-even won’t be of any help. During Covid-19 lockdown, traffic was not an issue. But now, with everything going back to new normal, people have started travelling in personal vehicles and the increased traffic makes me think that no odd-even can free Delhi from traffic jams! I feel the if construction and all is halted, it would be more effective than implementation of this rule,” says Dr Mahima Sabherwal from Ashram.

“It’s the uncertainty of the situation which is getting to me. We were planning a road trip to a location close by. Ab beech main yeh odd-even ho gaya toh we’ll be stuck! Also, is this really a solution? I mean they need to give prior notice much in advance and also have a plan in place. How did it even help the last time,” says Rohit Raj, an investment banker from Greater Kailash II.

“What will this odd and even scheme even do? It’s not like things will improve a lot after it’s implemented. But the amount of inconvenience that it’s going to create will be grave. After the pandemic, the economy is struggling to bounce back, and such rules will only make it difficult for people to get back to offices, schools, etc. The government ought to make rules and adopt measures that will actually do something to curb pollution,” says Ravi Sarda, a businessman from Model Town.

Author tweets @anjuri

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Friday, December 03, 2021