Flaws Revealed in Delhi’s Upcoming Odd-Even Plan

With schools open during this round of odd-even, the government has new logistics to consider. 

Updated
India
2 min read
The odd-even experiment is supposed to reduce pollution levels in one of the most polluted cities in the world. (Photo: Atered by <b>The Quint</b>)

A week ahead of the odd-even scheme, a blip in plans to take cars off Delhi’s streets could make it hard for police to discern which drivers should be penalised for not following the new regulations.

During the second odd-even phase, schools will remain open and parents will be allowed to drop their children off. Government officials have said traffic cops will not fine families with uniformed children in their cars.

A smoggy day in Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)
A smoggy day in Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)

But traffic cops can be expected to have trouble distinguishing between parents who have dropped off their children, and drivers heading to work when enforcing odd-even rules. Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai says the government is working on finding a solution.

At the same time, the 366 school buses which were used to facilitate transportation during phase one in January will not be used in phase two.

Child drinks water from roadside pipe in New Delhi during the summer heat. (Photo: Reuters)
Child drinks water from roadside pipe in New Delhi during the summer heat. (Photo: Reuters)

The efficacy of the upcoming phase will largely depend on Delhiites’ willingness to participate, according to government officials. After the first odd-even phase, ministers said a large part of the scheme’s success was due to the cooperation of Delhi’s citizens.

It was a major challenge, but the scheme has passed the test because of the will of Delhiites. They have given us their wholehearted support to make this a success.
Gopal Rai, Transport Minister
Heavy traffic moves along a  busy road on an evening in New Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)
Heavy traffic moves along a busy road on an evening in New Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)

But it might be different during the second phase as the summer heat begins to set in. Temperatures of late have reached the 40’s, making a cramped car or a crowded metro a less appealing option than during winter months.

The success of the first phase is also debatable. A preliminary study conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, found that air pollution did not significantly decrease during the January experiment.

Since there is no improvement in air pollution and the impact on congestion is so little and in fact, it also increased at times, there is no reason to continue it other than gaining international publicity.
Dinesh Mohan, a former IIT professor, to the Times of India

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