Prevention is better than cure, they say, but seems like we are far past that stage. Now, finding a cure to the rising pollution levels in Delhi is the need of the hour. According to the Central pollution board, pollution level on a scale of 300-400 is very poor and 400-500 is severe. But on 30th November the pollution level in Delhi’s Anand Vihar area reached 999 which is double of severe. This situation is indeed alarming. As a resort to this problem, Delhi Chief Minister Mr. Arvind Kejriwal has implemented the Odd-Even formula which will come in effect from 1st January 2016 for a trial of fifteen days. It states that all odd numbered four wheelers will be allowed on the streets of Delhi only on odd number dates and even numbered ones on even dates, with an exception to Sundays and single women drivers.
This decision has created turmoil in the national capital. With people terming it as anarchy and expressing their frustration for the Delhi government through the social media, the supporters of this formula seem to be tremendously outnumbered. The logical explanations of people opposing it are quite valid. With a population of about 9.87 million, the public transport does not seem to be adequate for the people. During peak hours you can easily see people hanging from the buses and overcrowding the metros. No wonder what will happen when nearly 10 lakh cars will go off roads and people will have commute through public transport.
This formula is not new, earlier various countries have tried their hands on it. Mexico, for example, was facing a similar threat, just the intensity was much lower than Delhi. Initially, the pollution levels decreased by 11%, but later on, the number of cars in the city increased as people started buying new ones with alternative number plates. It not only led to a boost in car sales but pollution level rose by 13% in return. With a policy like this, it certainly will lead to increase in crime rates like forging of number plates and corruption. This is evident by the response which was triggered on the social media sites where common matrimonial or Santa-Banta jokes have taken a toll to odd-even formula.
‘A beautiful girl with vehicle having even number registration needed for a boy whose vehicle has odd number registration’ could be the transformation of the matrimonial advertisements. Not, only this, commuting your way to office could be a big task in itself. Perhaps, you could just skip it alternatively and explain to your boss that your odds of reaching office are not evenly balanced by the Delhi government. The modern day PTM meetings in schools would not take place on the basis of your child’s roll number, instead, dependent on the number plate of your car. Facebook, twitter and instagram are filled with trolls and posts with hashtag DelhiOddEvenLogic. It’s funny to even think about these instances right now but let’s see what Delhiites have in store for them as the new year approaches.
Currently the situation in Delhi is beyond disturbing. Delhiites are potentially more freaked out about not being able to drive their cars daily than the pollution levels which have caused all of them breathing toxic air. I agree, there are alot of loopholes in the odd-even policy and it can cause alot of inconvenience for the residents, but desperate times require desperate measures. There are cities like Beijing and Sao Paulo which can act as a benchmark for Delhi. Beijing is the busiest city in the world and its pollution levels have always been a concern of the government there. In 2008, they adopted a somewhat similar strategy too. 5 million cars were forced to drive on alternating days. The most amazing part is that for the first time, in ages, they were able to see a blue sky. The citizens were quite cooperative with the policy too as they accepted the fact that it was all being done for their benefit.
Delhi is the capital of the second most populated country in the world. Its pollution levels have proved that. Every soul breathing in Delhi is subject to chronic lungs damage. Efforts need to be made, action needs to be taken. It is not hard to digest that our government is actually implementing laws for our benefit. Is it? All Delhi needs to do at the moment is to stand together in this fight with pollution to protect not only their environment but themselves too. Better late, than never.
This article is written by Shubhra Sharma and her introduction is as below,
I am Shubhra Sharma.
I have been lucky enough to be able to accomplish my aim of getting through
the admissions in prestigious Delhi University in my choice of course which
is Honors in Journalism and Mass Communication. Earlier in school, I had a
commerce background. Apart from that I have been constantly participating
in sports, drama, debate and other literary competitions. I have also been
the sports captain and represented my school at the zonal and state level
in athletics and basketball. In college, I have been part of the Innovation
Project in which I along with my team of 10 students conducted research on
Kashmir Railways, for which we received an appreciation letter from
Northern Railways. I am responsible and passionate towards the path leading
in journalism. I’ve had experience of working with media houses such as
Ndtv, The Times of India and All India Radio. Being 20, I have a long way
to go to achieve a pinnacle and with sheer determination, dedication and
discipline, I hope to reach my destination.
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