Sunday, 26 March 2017

Delhi\'s battle against Air Pollution

Delhi\'s battle against Air Pollution

Considering people’s “Right to breathe”, the Delhi government announced a unique move that will allow private vehicles having odd and even registration numbers to ply only on alternate days. This move will come into effect from 1st January 2016. This comes after a day theDelhi high court said that living in Delhi is like “living in a gas chamber”. 

Air Pollution in DelhiAir Pollution in Delhi

In an even day, cars having registration number(ends with ever number) will be allowed and similar mechanism for odd day. CNG based Buses, Public transport, emergency services won’t come under the ambit of the restriction. But along with private vehicle, vehicle coming from other states will also be covered under the restriction. 

This move is not new. Most of the cities of Singapore, china are experiencing the similar mechanism. And hopefully it works there. Earlier National green tribunal’s order has made it possible to restrict 10 years old diesel vehicles to ply. I’m very glad to see that Delhi is taking such initiatives which will definitely help to reduce the air pollution level.But, Current air quality in Delhi is not a factor of vehicle alone. In-fact,heavy industries, farmers burning fields, Crackers have been a vast part ofmajor culprits. So, government should prepare strategies to address these factors as well.

Since past 15 years data have shown that the pollution usually comes down from January to August, it is only during the winters due to the adverse cold condition, between September to December, ambient atmosphere is the most polluted. So, it is not clear that for how long “Even odd rule” will in existence.And let’s see how people’s life will get affected by this rule:

On the next day People (who have just one car) will now have to use city buses, metro, and cab etc. And what if a family has 4 vehicles and all the vehicles’ numbers end with either even or odd digit? This problem should be addressed before 1st January.

I see only two solutionsfrom citizen’s POV (Actually these areJugaad ,not the proper solutions):

1. People who are habitual of travelling through personal car will never hire a cab, nor do they use metro. They’ll definitely go for new / second hand car which has different ending digit. And if most of the people start doing this, the “Even Odd” formula won’t work and eventually becomes failure.

2. Number plates can easily be replaced. People now start having one fake number plates (and who notices this?) and will change it alternatively. And I think this will create some new problems instead of reducing the air population.

To improve Delhi’s air quality, government comes out with more initiatives:

• Badarpur thermal power station in Delhi is country’s most polluting and inefficient power plant. And the government might shut down the Badarpur Thermal power station. That is laudable move.

• Government comes out with massive planation drive to control the pollution and diseases caused by dust. Plants are source of oxygen so it’ll definitely work.

• The government will start a move to vacuum clean dust from roads from 1st April 2016. Public work department would be responsible for this.

These are just 4 measures (out of 13) which I know. And all these four measures except ”even odd mechanism” are perfect and having no drawbacks. All 13 measures are yet to be revealed.


At last I can conclude that government’s motives are good but the “Even odd mechanism” is flawed and there is great possibility that government might face protest to retract this decision. “Even odd mechanism” is just one out of 13so we can’t ignore the good points. Other states should learn from Delhi and should come with some new initiative so that we can lower the air pollution in very short span. This is also necessary to ensure India’s contribution to fight against climate change. I, personally want to say “congratulation” to Delhi government for these measures.