With the Delhi government’s ‘odd-even’ rationing of cars ending today—the Delhi government has however said that it is mulling over a second phase, the dates of which will be decided only after it has reviewed the impact of the January 1-15 phase—many in the national capital will probably heave a sigh of relief.
However, despite the dissenting voices, the national capital has adhered to the odd-even rationing rather diligently—till January 12, the traffic police had booked just 2,685 violators, as per a report in The Hindustan Times—no doubt, with the hefty fine for violation playing an effective deterrent. As an ancillary effect, traffic congestion in the national capital also eased.
Though a reduction in the number of cars on the roads will contribute very little to bringing down pollution levels in Delhi—the IIT-Kanpur report found cars contribute just 2% of the PM 2.5 emissions in the city—the experiment has proved that odd-even would bear repeating when desperate measures are needed.
The Supreme Court rejecting a petition to end odd-even—saying Delhiites need to cooperate with the government on pollution reduction efforts—also significantly lowers the chances of the rationing running into objection from the judiciary. Though it will inconvenience a lot of people—the city has nearly 2 million registered private cars—the rationing has a fair shot of working if the city works on improving its public transport systems.