If you live in New Delhi, and are planning to buy a new car to celebrate New Year of 2016, then don’t…
From Modi’s Paris trip for the Climate Summit, to Chennai’s catastrophic floods, to Delhi’s gas chamber of an atmosphere – a worldwide recognition now. It seems India is finally rising in the world – in correlation with its pollution and sea levels.
Amidst all this, one man seeks to pursue the challenge, with dicey solutions. Arvind Kejriwal, the self-claimed mascot of the common man, is an innovative chap. I suppose.
Yesterday, Kejriwal’s government formulated a policy to solve the pollution problems in Delhi: which means that if you paid a fortune to get the 007 plate, it was waste, and you can only pretend to be Bond half the time.
Even the scheme is Odd
AAP seems to be taking inspiration from Paris and China, where road-rationing rules have previously been deployed. But, nakal karne ke liye bhi akal chahiye. Prying a little into the details, it is hard to say if the capital CM actually thought this through…
- License plates ending in even digits run on days alternate to those ending in odd digits.
- This rule is applicable even for vehicles from other states.
- Public transport, autos and taxis running on CNG, ambulance, fire trucks etc. are exempted from this rule.
- However, no clear light was shed on the guidelines for government vehicles, like the cars that will take Modi to the airport.
- The penalty for violation has not been specified yet.
- The course of action for months with 29 or 31 days is still unclear. The car numbers getting odd dates will obviously run more in such months.
- It’s a good plan. In theory, the environmental target will be met sans ambiguity, no doubt on the end. It’s mathematical: fewer cars=less pollution.
- The much annoying slug of traffic has a good chance of flowing more freely. With reduced car density, there will definitely be a larger angle on the speedometer.
- Right now, Delhi lacks the public transport infrastructure required to seamlessly administer orders such as this one, but if reverse protocol works, the elevated demand could pressurize the same AAP government to pump the supply and work on developing the metro and DTC, thereby resulting in a different kind of economic development.
Kejriwal, in his quest for providing infallible solutions, has lost out on the viability. This solution is not going to hinder the rich: they can simply buy a second car, provided they don’t already have one. But what about the “aam aadmi”?
He is faced with two options:
- Take the auto. And in Delhi, ho gaya fir toh! Even today, when autos aren’t one’s last resort, the Autowallas think they rule. “Nahi jayega” and “Meter se 50 zyada” are annoying enough now. By giving his biggest following a clean chit, Mr. CM has cursed all the others into endless harassment.
- Cut corners to buy another car. This is out of the question for many. On top of it, what if the second car has the same even/odd number? Now save to pay for an alternate number too?
“Humans don’t like changes” – random filmy quote. But it’s sort of true. We don’t… Unless it makes life easier for us.
Kejriwal’s solution, despite all the controversy, is fail-safe with respect to its goal. All the ado around it is only social. But personally, as an educated Indian, concerned about the welfare of the country (all aspects of it), I support Kejriwal. Even if it comes at the expense of personal ease.
And… we could always carpool, right? Or cycle
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.