Oddity of Odd-Even
With just a green-coloured umbrella shielding their face from the harsh April sun, Civil Defence volunteers stand near every traffic junction of Delhi to spread the message of saving the environment. The heat, dust and chaos of busy roads don’t perturb the Delhi Traffic Police personnel as well. There are 5,000 Civil Defence volunteers roped in for the odd-oven part two of AAP government. They are the foot soldiers of the road-rationing plan who try to create awareness among motorists about the scheme, manage traffic and also help officials in prosecuting violators. Do the selfless service of volunteers and polices personnel work on the ground zero?
Aam Aadmi Party government clearly believes it has found in odd-even the miracle cure for the city’s perennial air pollution and traffic congestion problems even after the fact that the city woke up to a chaotic morning everyday, traffic snarls being visible from various parts of the city. There is no respite in traffic rushes at Ring Road section behinds Kashmere Gate inter-state bus terminal, Burari Chowk, ITO, Akshardham, Laxmi Nagar, Ashram Chowk, South Extension, etc.
People’s responses on the scheme are not up to what the Delhi government thinks. “A person owning two cars or capable of buying a second one does not suffer because of the scheme. Also, it discriminates on the basis of gender because not only does it exempt all women drivers, it also lays down that if a man were to travel with them in an odd-numbered car on an even day or vice versa then the vehicle could be challaned. Similarly, Delhi does not belong to Delhiites alone but to all Indians. However, if anyone is coming by a taxi to the city for health reasons or otherwise on a given day, he or she will not be able to use the vehicle the following day,” an office-goer said who commutes from West Vinod Nagar to Connaught place every day. CNG-hologrammed stickers are available with the hush money, and diesel and petrol car owners are buying at large to get away from traffic police.
The buses available are overcrowded. In the summer heat, it is a terrible experience for people. Delhi Metro added a few more trains but literally, there is no place to stand inside the Metro in the peak-hours. Despite having the best Metro network in the country, the system is not able to cater to the scale of people who commute on a daily basis. There were fewer numbers of autos on the roads than usual and many were either overcharging passengers or rejecting them outright. Senior citiens are having a hard time in the scorching summer.
Every bus stop has a large cut-out of Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal. One can see and hear advertisements on TV channels, Newspapers, radio, magazines are replete with to odd-even scheme. “AAP government has spent tax-payers’ huge money on advertisements for a mere show-up, Kejriwal surpasses Sheila Dikshit. We Delhiites were carried away with his flamboyant promises in the last assembly election. He should focus on governance instead of doing such drama,” remarked a dejected senior executive in an MNC, who voted for Kejriwal in last assembly election.
The government exempted from odd-even rule those people who drive with school children in uniform. However, the government has not been able to arrive at a solution to the problem of cars returning after dropping school children or heading towards the schools in the afternoon hours to pick them up. There are also instances where people roam in cars by taking their children attired in school uniforms but in reality, they want to escape from odd-even oddity.
The heat doesn’t matter, neither does biting cold or a storm. I am a true soldier and the first line of defence for the society and you will find me standing no matter what. Government also compensates us with Rs 475 per 6 hours of work in a day. I am student of Masters in commerce and I love to serve my country.
Aalia Khan, Civil Defence Volunteer
My prime duty is traffic management. Simply put, we can say the smooth running of vehicles without any mishaps. If someone violates the odd-even rule then we penalise him. We make sure that no one escapes the laws. Whether odd-even rule remains or doesn’t, it does not matter to us. We will do our duty and it is our God.
Rahul Kumar, Traffic Constable, Delhi Police
Kejriwal must learn from euphoria and hype of odd-even scheme, as he fails to provide good governance. Delhi needs dynamic and dedicated leadership and Delhi voted him for this. Now Kejriwal should apply some civic sense before millions of Delhiites throw him out of power.
Md. Farhan, Businessman
Bhawna Gupta, Student
I have no idea as to what Kejriwal wants to prove through the odd-even rule. If traffic congestion ets reduced for 15 days, there will again traffic on the 16th day. When Delhi people face the same problem, then why this drama or publicity stunts?
Mahendar Kumar, Online Trader
Bharat Kumar, Self-employed
By Sanjay K Bissoy