This is the second time that the odd-even formula is being implemented by the Delhi government in order to get rid of the giant devil that is air pollution. We witnessed positive outcomes of the formula when it was implemented for the first time in the month of January. Those outcomes pushed the government to implement the scheme for the second time. But the question is- if outcomes were positive then why isn’t a permanent arrangement being thought upon? How long will it take to comprehend these outcomes?
During its first phase, we saw a reduction in air pollutants. Though marginal, it affected the traffic positively. With a decrease in the number of vehicles on the roads, traffic was smoother. It was, hence proven, that banning unreasonable use of vehicles can decrease the traffic related problems significantly. Though people contributed generously in making the formula success in January, many criticised it, for it was obstructing their freedom.
Some people are applying the same logic this time as well. But controlling the pollution is an issue related to public health and the court is also backing it. If a system can benefit the masses, then why delay its implementation? The government, however, is executing it for a small duration, on an experimental basis.
Despite constant advocacy, the concept of car-pooling has not emerged successfully. Also, a significant increase in the sales of cars was observed during the last implementation of the formula. However, it is yet to be known if people are obligated to buy more cars owing to the odd-even rule. Some studies have revealed that the contribution of two-wheelers to Delhi’s pollution is around one-third the total pollution. Why hasn’t it been covered under the formula?
The pollution level in the capital is hazardous, and public health is a subject of worry. Even after having control over industrial units and heavy trucks, it is difficult to free Delhi of air pollution. In this condition, a concrete step from the government is expected.
After a hiatus, controlling cars for a stipulated timeframe, and organising car-free-days once in a month will garner the capital’s attention, but will not be able to yield any significant result. Delhi government should instead consider permanent and static solutions like amelioration of the public transport system.