Yes, Pollution has been growing. And, we all know the status of pollution in Delhi. AAP government has taken steps it can, to quickly try to control the level of pollution. It is a courageous decision, something needed to be done and while the level of pollution is already at higher level, this was the only immediate option. So, while we debate it will work or not, lets just say, something is better than nothing. However, while it’s under trial, lets not take it as a permanent solution, or do not start applying it in other states.
First, main problem is pollution. To start with, how many ‘family’ four wheeler do we see emitting black smoke out? Somewhere between few to very few. But, how many auto rickshaws, buses (not limited to Delhi where majority city buses are run on CNG) and trucks do we see emitting black smoke? Majority. When I am in a city or highway, If I pass any 10 auto rickshaw or bus, or truck – at least 6 of them is emitting dark smoke which is visible. This is where odd even formula is weak, and lesser effective. It’s not higher number of vehicles only, but its limited number of vehicles that are polluting the most.
For this, Law is already there. PUC. Which has been overused by traffic police for bribe purpose. If you happen to visit Ahmedabad, you will know. Whoever doing duty on that day, will notice your license plate and seeing you are not from that city, will ask you to pull over. And start asking for license etc, and then PUC if can’t find any other option to make money from. And, not many carries PUC, so will end up paying bribe. Same time you will see many trucks, buses, auto rickshaws and even old cars passing by with cloud of smoke blowing out of its silencer. But, no one is bothered. And, who can actually ask for PUC, traffic police or environment department, is not clear yet, but cops are certainly making money out of it, so why not properly apply the law and start fining, and following up on repair in given timeline? Impound the vehicle at owner’s cost if not fixed or polluting just too much. It will certainly and effectively help curb pollution.
Second thing is traffic congestion. Now, many city other than Delhi have two lane roads or wide roads, but lot of illegal occupancy by businesses, fast food carts etc takes space of almost one lane. Forcing traffic jam. And, there are those drivers who simply are in too much hurry and occupy every space of the road to cross signal, leaving no space for those who needs to make an exit turn, again forcing a jam.
Third is factories. How much amount of smoke they are pouring out?! Hard to believe. Government needs to keep that in check and force them to improve their infrastructure to lower the amount of pollution they are adding in environment. Also, government needs to work with vehicle manufactures to push and support them to develop vehicles that does not pollute our nature.
And, than comes environment’s main subject. Trees. Development is a good thing. However to create something, somethings we have to destroy something, but Trees can be planed with better plans to keep up fresh air while developing city and highways. I remember, years back, when national highway 8 was undivided road, both sides of it were filled with trees. Almost, whole road was hidden under trees. And, today, no trees! Not a single tree has it’s shadow on highway. Isn’t this worrisome?
Odd and Even number will not solve much. Avoiding pollution while improving air quality needs better more stable solution. Law is there, needs a proper application, and more trees can be planted properly to refresh air quality. People needs to be proactive in this regards and contribute by properly servicing their vehicles, putting a stop on smoke emitting vehicles that have passed its lifeline, if you see others, educate them or report them, and plant more trees.