Ever since the odd-even scheme is implemented on the 15-day trial in Delhi, Delhiites have been curious to know its response and check its viability. The real challenge for the Delhi government was whether the new rule will be followed or not and if it is, will it create chaos and inconvenience for Delhi commuters.
Recently, videos and pictures showing a crowded Rajiv Chow metro station went viral on social media. Though these pictures turned out to be fake, social media users on Twitter and Facebook took no time in posting their reactions on the viral images.
Contrary to the images and negative reactions towards the Delhi government when the rule was being formulated, the plan is actually coming out successfully. Earlier, the scepticism was largely based on three grounds. First, the lack of last mile connectivity in public transportation; Second, fear of overcrowded buses and metro trains (owing to the huge population of Delhi); Third, shortage of traffic police staff in checking violators.
But in the six days of the odd-even plan so far, there has been a smooth functioning in all these areas where the commuters were sceptical. So far, there have been no complaints or agitation by Delhi commuters.
According to aqicn.org, the website that calculates the air quality of cities across the world, PM 2.5 at Anand Vihar at 3pm on January 5, had gone down from 534 to 375 while PM 10 had dipped from 853 to 491. These numbers are in no way near the safe area but it is a clear indication that things are changing.
Even though there has been smooth traffic on the roads and that the buses and metro trains have not witnessed heavy rush of passengers and there has been a decrease in pollution levels, PILs are still being filed challenging the AAP government’s odd-even scheme.
Reports suggest that some of the PILs have challenged the entire scheme as being “arbitrary” or “ill-conceived”, while others are against certain portions of it, like the exemptions given to women drivers and two-wheelers. The latest petition by Delhi a resident claims that the city government’s scheme violates his fundamental rights of equality, freedom of movement and right to practise any profession or occupation, guaranteed under the Constitution.
Whether or not people feel their right is being violated by following this rule, it is clear that the trial so far has been a smooth ride. This first-ever initiative by the Delhi government can prove to have what it takes to make substantial difference in making the city pollution free.