Odd-Even 2.0

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Updated: January 15, 2016 8:31:47 AM

Delhi’s odd-even rationing bears repeating when desperate measures are needed

India PollutionThough 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. (AP photo)

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.

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