odd even


The Delhi Government, on Saturday, has sanctioned to desist the ‘odd-even’ car rationing scheme in light of the NGT poser regarding the rationale behind the decision. The policy was earlier announced for November 13 to 17 with the intent of depurating the smog-filled air in the city. A crisis situation emerged when the levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and PM 10 entered the severe category. The government declared that schools must be shut down and the people were suggested to wear N95 masks as protection against toxic Delhi smog.

While stubble burning in neighbouring states and fire-crackers have been traced as the primary contributor to the dangerous levels of air pollution in the city, yet they are not the only contributor to the distress of Delhiites. Despite several warnings of worsening air quality before winter, the municipalities turned a blind eye to pollution caused by open burning of waste, and improper disposal of construction and demolition waste. This year, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) did not issue a single fine for open burning of waste. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation, meanwhile, fined only 10 people.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) pulled up the Delhi government for failing to act for the entire year until the air quality deteriorated to the extreme levels. “You tell us what is the purpose of implementing Odd-Even again? It seems you just want to reduce vehicles from roads” the court said noting the long list of exceptions. The Central Pollution Control Board has told the Green Court that two-wheelers cause more pollution compared to four-wheelers. Questioning the end result of banning cars when millions of two-wheelers are left unregulated. The court said, “If you are removing 500 cars from roads and allowing 1,000 two-wheelers, what purpose will it serve?” The court further remarked that the exemption from the Odd-Even scheme will be granted only to the CNG vehicle and emergency services such as ambulance and fire service while, earlier, this exemption pertained to women, two-wheelers and VVIPs.
Responsively, the Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot stated that ‘the Delhi Government could not compromise on the safety of women.’ He also accepted the fact that Delhi Government did not have enough public transport alternatives to accommodate over 60 lakh two-wheeler riders.’ Though the scheme has been called off, for now, the government may appeal for a review in the Green Court on Monday, to allow the car rationing policy with the previously practised exemptions.

Recently, the Delhi government’s had also decided to allow free travel for commuters in all DTC and cluster buses between November 13 and November 17, when the odd-even scheme was proposed to be implemented. This was done in order to encourage the use of public transport. It is unclear, now, whether such a decision will be implemented even after the suspension of the odd-even policy.

Experts, however, said there was a need for a long-term plan to reduce emissions. The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) has issued a ‘Comprehensive Action Plan for Air Pollution Control in Delhi & NCR’ that enlists a combination of short, medium and long-term action for each source of pollution and indicates agencies responsible for implementation. A member of the EPCA and the director-general of the Centre for Science and Environment, Sunita Narain, said if the long-term measures already identified and suggested by the EPCA are not implemented, “air quality cannot improve”.

Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Varoon Tuteja

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Keeping aside the always-in-headlines Odd-Even Traffic Rule, there’s an odd-even pattern witnessed in the semesters too. The odd ones, marking the beginning of the academic year witness much enthusiasm (and attendance) while the even ones are just feel just like a lazy, broken momentum passing on. Don’t believe? Here are five reasons we think they’re both different:

1. “New year, let’s make it a big one!”

Let’s face it, we all say something on these lines every July. And by the time March winds up, we know we did no better this year too. So while the beginning is fresh we try our best to give up the comfortable abode of our beds to attend college and try to make it things work out before the submissions deadline. There’s zeal, agility and most importantly hope!

2. “Couldn’t do much last semester, will try again next year…”

And when we are not-so-successful in breaking through the deadlines by November, well then, there’s not much we can save through the rest of the year. Let’s just keep it simple and try again next year? Meanwhile, why not catch on to the sleep?

 3. Seriousness across campus v/s the exuberance of fest season

Things are continuous and you’re able to keep tab of things: that’s what the odd semesters are about. In the even ones, well there are fests every week to distract you. By the time you decide to work on that assignment, you hear Amit Trivedi’s performing in a college and who’d like to miss the music maestro for a bunch of marks anyway?

 4. If you’re in a cultural society, when was the last time you attended class?

The fest season, with all of its exuberance brings a lot of work too. Whether you’re in a performing society wherein you’ve to tax hours to bag the top position in competitions or a member of the organising committee of any of the fests; there’s a high chance that you wouldn’t be aware which top your class is on…in every subject. Missing classes becomes a routine and now that that’s done, another committee meeting maybe?

 5. One too long, two ends too soon.

Odd semesters seem uncannily long, thanks to the slow pace of activities across campus. The even ones seem to be like on a rat race, semester exams stand staring at you right in the eye before you know it. The commitments too, are substantially different. Odd semesters give you a chance to redeem all lost hopes you had in the last even semester (while also giving you a chance to mess up the upcoming even semester) and the even ones? There’s too much happening around campus to be inside the walls of a classroom, right?


Featured image credits: www.9gag.com

Arushi Pathak
[email protected]

Delhi University evens out the odd strategy: Online poll conducted by DU Beat shows most students in favour of the Delhi Government’s odd- even car policy with suggestions how to tackle pollution more effectively.

We asked students of University of Delhi 6 questions in an online survey to adjudge their assessment of the much debated pollution control strategy implemented by the Delhi Government from 1- 15 January ’16 as a test run. While the policy itself has faced quite a lot of criticism for being inconvenient and ineffective, DU students voted in favour of it as one of the means to achieve a cleaner future. Here’s a closer look at the answers:

1. Has the Odd Even formula affected you?

– About 50% of the respondents said that the odd- even formula did affect them- either because they own and travel by a car or because the metro gets more crowded than usual.

– The other half, about 40%, said that no, they were either exempted under the policy or lived too close to college to be affected by the policy.

– The reasons given by respondents who selected “other” ranged from being able to enjoy clean air and decongested roads to being happy about the increase in frequency of DTC buses to saying that they used the metro like before, but noticed no change in amount of crowd.

Odd Even formula affected you

2. Do you think the Odd-Even strategy is working?

– Despite only about a half of the total survey takers said they were affected by the policy, over 70% believed it to be working as planned.

– Close to 18% said it was causing them great inconvenience and didn’t seem to be making any difference, while the rest said that they haven’t noticed any real change.

Odd-Even strategy is working

3. What alternative mode of transportation do you use when not a car?

– An overwhelming 77% of the respondents said they relied on public transport- Metro, buses, autos.

– Other respondents said they either used their other car or scooty, or carpooled, or got a cab.

– 5% said they’d rather cancel their plans and stay in, and 3 respondents confessed to flouting the rule.

alternative mode of transportation

4. What changes do you think can be introduced to the strategy to make it more effective/less inconvenient?

– The most common answer was the introduction of a more efficient public transport system. Some suggestions that stood out: 1. Increase number and frequency of metro and buses, 2. Regulate tariffs charged by autos/ rickshaws, 3. Ensure better last mile connectivity.

– Another change that people felt was needed was the lack of qualified traffic police force and stricter vehicular pollution check measures and penalties.

– The point of removing exemptions on 2- wheelers and female drivers was made while emphasising the need for implementation of stricter security measures to ensure their safety in public transport.

– Observing regular car- free days even after the 15 days are over seems like a popular option.

– Some respondents felt that it wasn’t the strategy that needed alteration but that the authorities needed to control pollution from factories and trucks.

5. According to you, what else can be done to reduce pollution levels in Delhi, especially by students/your peers?

– Most respondents recommended the adoption of alternate modes of transport- From using carpooling as a way to get to know your neighbours better, to cycling to stay fit.

– A conscious effort and an open mind is what the youth needs to help fix Delhi’s air, the respondents said. Suggestions regarding tree planting and cleanliness drives came up often.

6. Would you support the Odd Even strategy if it were to be extended beyond 15th January?

With about only a quarter saying they wouldn’t want the strategy to extend beyond the 15 days, Delhi University students gave a clear thumbs up to the scheme that has given mixed results over other parts of the world.

Through debate and discussion, the fact that Delhi’s off the chart pollution levels are contributed to by more than a few factors is common knowledge. While banning cars is just one way to go about it, there is scope for a lot more, both, by the authorities and by the individuals. The online survey conducted by DU Beat has presented us with very optimistic results regarding the youth’s understanding of the gravity of the situation and their resolve to make a difference.

extended beyond 15th January

Vani Vivek

[email protected]

Graphics by Aditya Rathore for DU Beat