Discuss about Delhi government’s odd-even vehicle rationing formula ?


 What’s this ‘odd-even’ rule?

This rule would define which car you can drive on a particular date. On even dates, only cars with license plates ending with an even number will be allowed on city roads, and on odd dates, cars with license plates ending with an odd number will be allowed.


How this Experiment will Help:-

  • Vehicular emissions which contributes to 44% to PM 2.5 and 46% of the carbon monoxide will be reduced to half thus reducing the level of pollution and making the air more breathable
  • It may create awareness among People that how alarming Pollution condition has become.
  • Delhi’s Model if successful will act as a benchmark for other states also.
  • Will Promote Public Transport and Non-Motorized ways of travelling which is the need of the hour.
  • Can come Handy in Effective traffic Control.(Handling Jams etc).
  • More Manpower is required to make this experiment successful thus it may lead to employment generation.
  • Reducing hospital expenditure of the sufferers from air borne diseases
  • Fines imposed of the offenders will further add revenue which can be used to improve the already available public transport services.
  • The rule exempts CNG driven vehicles so this will encourage people to shift to a less polluting fuel that is CNG
  • With lesser no of vehicles plying on the roads movement of ambulances will be swifter causing fewer deaths which previously used to be a result of road delay.
  • Less travelling time
  • Less import of oil reduces deficit account of government


Why Not So Effective:-

  • A long list of exemptions is there which dilutes the motive behind this rule.
  • This rule is effecting only 5-6% of vehicles in Delhi so the changes will be insignificant.
  • Delhi Police does not have the kind of manpower required to implement this decision.
  • if the Delhi government successfully implements the odd-even formula, the question still arises as to how people will commute. Frequency of Public Transport is low.
  • People who are rich and in a condition to afford another car will prefer odd or even number.RTO, is bound to increase rates for granting favours with people paying bigger bribes.
  • Not applies to two-wheelers as they contribute to 70% of pollution
  • There is a certain section of population who car pool one car among 4 to 5 people. They will be affected.
  • With the increase in people resorting to public transport the bargaining power of the people will reduce and incidences of exorbitant rates being charged by public transport provides will rise.


Other issues


  • The number of start-up car services such Meru, Ola have to bear with this formula which means Delhi will be portrayed as not being viable for start-up business.
  • Previously this formula was used in Mexico and Paris but it didn’t help. Beijing sounded successful but only during CWG. So it’s history too hasn’t been good.


Other loopholes


  • Gender discrimination i.e. Women drivers carrying women are exempted. It’s not so that their vehicles don’t cause pollution
  • VIPs are also excluded except few which sends a wrong signal to a common man as how the law makers can be law violators
  • No notice given to power plants generating air pollutants
  • How to check the vehicles plying from other states which ‘ll cross Delhi as numerous vehicles still running in capital registered with other states
  • Would result in proliferation of forged car-plates.
  • It is not clear whether traffic police would be responsible for monitoring and if yes, then their strength is woefully inadequate


Way Ahead


  • Enforcing car-free days,cycle lanes ,encouraging cab sharing,launching plantation drives
  • Public campaigns are a must before asking the people to accept something like an odd-even formula
  • Polluting industries need to be made compliant or shut down
  • Construction sites , Public Waste, Industrial Leftovers should be dealt with.
  • Thermal power plants need to be relocated away from population clusters
  • Alternatives need to be found for India’s rising dependence on trucks for freight movement.
  • The Bharat Stage-VI fuel norms should be put in place
  • Recently ban on stubble burning by HC of delhi is good step
  • The Green cess levied should be strictly implemented
  • Catalytic converter should be used in vehicles.


The rule though a step in the right direction needs to be supplemented with other measures such as better urban planning, better solid waste-management, better regulation of the construction sector, making the polluting industries compliant and relocating thermal power stations outside the city. The citizens could undertake plantation drives and car pooling to complement government’s efforts.

There is no denying the fact that it is a very thought off initiative of the Delhi Govt. looking at the Pollution Levels (especially in delhi) but the blueprint with so many exceptions and not many alternatives of Transport are defeating the Purpose of it.

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