Odd, even number car plan in Delhi – What the Auto Industry has to say about it
All of us are aware that pollution levels in Delhi has reached an alarming high and most of us tend to ignore this fact. The Delhi High Court states Delhi has become a gas chamber with air that is unbreathable. We need to realise that Delhi’s pollution is enough to kill people, leave alone making them ill. It’s just that we have grown a bit immune to most of the particulates in the air.
To curb pollution, the Delhi government has come up with the rule of running even and odd numbered registered vehicles on alternate days. According to R C Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki, this idea has no real logic. He feels that the government is not even aware of who the contributors of pollution are.
From the beginning of next year (1st January 2016), the new order will force all those vehicles ending with odd numbers on their registration plates to ply on one day and even numbered vehicles to ply on the following day. But, this rule will not adhere to auto rickshaws, CNG buses, taxis and other public vehicles. However, it will cover all those vehicles that are entering Delhi from other states.
R C Bhargava also stated that cars are nowadays a symbol of luxury and a rich man’s product. Hence, it is simplest to ban as it has a greater appeal. Once the Delhi government understands the whole logic, they might undo the decision. He also said majority of the pollution is caused by 2.5 PM (particulate matter) and no petrol cars contribute towards this. Rather, other sources of pollution like waste disposal, construction work, desert storms from Rajasthan, burning of waste in Haryana and Punjab and diesel trucks passing through the city help in accumulating 2.5 PM. “What is being done to address them?”, he said. The government is hoping that this will help in reducing pollution levels by half in the city. Many big cities like Singapore, Beijing and London have implemented this law and found success. However, experts say that people will ultimately end up buying two cars – one with an odd and the other with an even number.
SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers Association) says that if it has helped other countries, then new schemes such as this is needed to be tried out here as well. The move will help cab operators increase their fleet and in turn help in increasing public transport infrastructure. The automotive body also said that reducing the number of vehicles is not going to solve the problem as current air quality in Delhi is not a factor of vehicles alone. According to a report by ICAP – Ministry of Environment and Forest, in 2011, vehicles contribute to only a low 8% of overall pollution.
Then other industry experts feel that the auto industry is not responsible for pollution in the city. Consumers are not paying taxes to the government for their cars to sit at home and scraping of old vehicles is one way to fix emission and safety issues.
To carry on the interesting debate, tell us what you feel about this move in the comments section below?