Delhi Pollution and the farce of odd-even scheme


By blaming the neighbouring States for pollution/ smog, the Delhi Govt headed by an ex-IITian is only passing on the buck without assuming its own responsibility. They are behaving like an ostrich. They have not learnt a lesson from their casual measures like Odd-Even which had proved to be utter failures in the past. Well to do people, who suffered in the first phase of Odd-Even, got wiser and bought additional vehicles of alternate numbers, defeating the very purpose of Odd-Even. That’s why, the second phase of Odd-Even was a miserable failure with hardly any drop in the traffic volume. By taking such half-baked measures, the inefficient Arvind Kejriwal & Co. are only paying lip service to the social welfare. They are making the society sick by trying to cure only the symptoms instead of the disease. Even after getting the expert opinions, they have not woken up to the reality of what indeed causes incessant pollution.

The most visible reality is right there: the vehicle manufacturers. They are the biggest culprits who are deluging the country’s roads. The biggest polluter is the ever increasing, never stopping population of vehicles. There is constant competition amongst them to increase their share of sales and profits. They are least bothered about the public health. As many as 30 lakh new vehicles are being pumped into the country’s limited road network every year!! And you know Delhi’s share? As per RTO records, 1800 vehicles are being registered in Delhi every day, meaning an addition of over 6 lakh vehicles every year!! Are there enough roads and parking space to cater to them? These are the ever-emitting polluters who are choking the roads as well as the atmosphere of Delhi/NCR, nay the whole country.

It is still not understood why the Govt is allowing them a free run. Why don’t they act like Singapore? The situation can be largely tamed if they act on the following suggestions:-

  • Discourage the purchase of fossil fuel cars by making them prohibitively costly.
  • Introduce a permit system, with a deterrent tax which should be more than the cost of the vehicle like in Singapore. Recently, a permit for a hatch back car costing just about Rs.3 lakhs was auctioned for an equivalent of about Rs.20 lakhs!
  • Discourage the purchase of a second car by a family by imposing a heavy permit fee.
  • Also make it compulsory for them to first produce the evidence of parking space within their own premises. Charge a heavy fee for parking their vehicles outside their homes.
  • Encourage the use of CNG/Solar/Electric vehicles vis-à-vis the petrol/diesel vehicles by subsidising them.

It is time to wake up. The Vehicle Manufacturers’ Lobby is too powerful, politically as well as financially. Will Arvind Kejriwal dare to take them head on?

About J.K. Khanna

J.K. KhannaJ.K. Khanna is a retired IPS Officer of Bihar Cadre, 1974-batch. He retired in the rank of D.G.Police in 2011. He is the Secretary of the Forum of Retired IPS Officers (FORIPSO) which is an all India body, representing 23 States.

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