Odd-even: 63 lakh two-wheelers, only 5,700 cops to watch them
While questioning the timing of the drive, the green tribunal observed that keeping two-wheeler riders out of the scheme would defeat its purpose. This is because Delhi has over one crore registered vehicles, out of which 63.21 lakh are two-wheelers.delhi Updated: Nov 12, 2017 11:35 IST
Experts on Saturday hailed the National Green Tribunal’s order of not exempting two-wheeler riders while carrying out odd-even drives in the future.
While questioning the timing of the drive, the green tribunal observed that keeping two-wheeler riders out of the scheme would defeat its purpose. This is because Delhi has over one crore registered vehicles, out of which 63.21 lakh are two-wheelers.
Also, two-wheelers are bigger contributors to air pollution than petrol-fuelled four-wheelers. The Central Pollution Control Committee informed the NGT that vehicular emissions contribute 20% to Delhi’s foul air and out of this, 30% emission is contributed by two-wheelers.
Experts say the reason for the boom in two-wheelers in Delhi is affordability. “The operational cost of two wheelers is 58 kilometres per litre (a litre of petrol cost Rs 70) which is quite low. It is a personal vehicle compared to a taking a bus, which actually turns out to be slightly expensive compared to a two-wheeler rider,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, Centre for Science and Environment.
Compared to a bus, where the minimum ticket fare is Rs 5, using a two-wheeler costs only Rs 2 per km, she added.
Sources said the government in the last two odd-even drives had exempted two-wheelers not only because the public transport network was inadequate but also because it felt it would directly hit their electorate. “The segment of two-wheeler riders is mostly that of the lower income group. If they are included in the drive, they would not opt for the Metro that have become even more expensive now. They would choose the buses, which are not adequate. Besides, it is also a political decision,” said an official.
Enforcement a problem
The government and the traffic police are worried as to how they would monitor the huge volume of vehicles if odd-even is undertaken in the future.
A senior traffic police officer said if the exemptions are removed, the exercise of enforcing the rule will be far more challenging given that the manpower is limited. Currently, Delhi Traffic Police have 5,600-5700 personnel of which nearly 300 are engaged in office duties.
The officer further said number pitted against the sheer number of vehicles on the road, even if it is a fraction of the total registered private ones, would be difficult because practically any vehicle is a violator.
Other officers said if bikers violated the rule in large numbers, the mismatch between the cops and those flouting rules would create more issues. “What we perceive in this situation are massive traffic jams as a large number of two wheeler riders would have to be stopped at crucial intersections,” an officer said.
“Challaning machines are few, the slips have to be issued one after the other, an extremely laborious and time consuming process,” another official added.