Amidst the commencement of the odd-even rule, effective from January 1 till January 15, something in the air certainly changed as Delhiites whole heartedly accepted the government’s initiative to reduce pollution in the city.
The city saw its people taking measures and putting efforts to make the plan a success, which shows that the commuters are willing to contribute in reducing the pollution level in the city. Some of the Aam Aadmi Party leaders were also seen traveling on bikes and carpooling to contribute in the movement. Though the overall response from the people in supporting the odd-even formula was overwhelming, there were some who violated the rule and were fined.
The 15-days long trial odd-even system, which is to be followed from 8 am to 8 pm, was a decent success in its initial two days. “There was less traffic on the roads and only a few violated the odd-even rule,” said Vinesh Thakur, a resident of South West Delhi, who followed the scheme and carpooled with his friends to college.
Millions of people found alternatives to commute within the city and there were fewer cars on roads with an exception of VIP cars, emergency vehicles, CNG vehicles, cars driven by women and two-wheelers, which are exempted from the necessity to follow the rule.
Pollution meters were fitted across the streets in the city and even though the traffic on the roads was reduced with the implementation of the odd-even scheme, the pollution level in the city still remained the same, owing also to meteorological conditions. And with schools and colleges being closed till the trial period for the odd-even scheme gets over, it is difficult to measure if the plan is really a success or not.
But is the dual complication of the deteriorating quality of the environment and traffic jams in the country are only due to the presence of too many cars on roads? Construction activities, heating the fossil fuels, dust and air particles, fuel combustion in stationary objects and other residential and commercial activities also contribute
towards polluting the environment.
A temporary weapon
Looking upon the possibilities and the scope of the odd-even formula, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that it isn’t possible to implement the scheme permanently as these weapons are used on temporary basis to curb dangerous levels of pollution.
Since the formula cannot continue forever, there are other measures by the Supreme Court and the Delhi government which have been implemented in order to control the pollution.
The Supreme Court has declared the registration of luxury SUVs and diesel cars above 2000cc illegal in the capital, along with this, all the taxis in Delhi are declared to run on CNG from the month of March. Also, commercial vehicles with registrations done before 2005 will not be allowed to enter in the city. The Supreme Court repeated on January 5th it would stick to its decisions.
The National Green Tribunal has also directed that burning of waste and shedding of dust from construction activities would be illegal and the violators would have to pay a fine for the same. A ban on burning of crop residue has also been channelized and a mass rapid public transport system will have to even more developed to reduce the pollution level.
While the Delhi people welcomed the initiative to curb pollution with positive spirits, the results of the measures already implemented are yet to show.