New Delhi (ISJ) - An institute under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has questioned the 'efficacy' of Delhi's Aam Admi Party government's proposed policy of restricting 'Odd-Even Number' vehicles to control air pollution in the national capital.
The Arvind Kejriwal-government is all set to implement its odd-even number policy from January 01, 2016 and sought to impose heavy penalty for violating vehicle owners.
National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), an institute under the CSIR has come up with, what it terms a viable alternative to reduce air pollution in the city. It's director Dr. P. Goswami questioned the 'efficacy' of the odd-even number policy and said not a single city in the world has succeeded in enforcing restricted movement of vehicles to bring down air pollution levels.� He called the Delhi government's policy could at best provide temporary solution, but it has several adverse effects.
Enforcing the odd-even rule on cars alone may not be effective, unless it is extended to vehicles across the board, as contribution of cars to city air pollution is only 10%, whereas the 5% heavy duty vehicles are responsible for 71% of CO2 emission and 74% of particulate emission.
Success of this rule in cities of many countries is because of its excellent public transport system, whereas Delhi's public transport system is neither comfortable nor punctual.
Lack of road infrastructure in the periphery of Delhi leads to transport vehicles from one states to another use Delhi roads instead.
The likely adverse effects of Odd-Even Number policy would be, according to Dr. Goswami, increased cost of private transport like cabs and auto-rickshaws, which will burden the poor and middle-class
People might resort to buying two cheap cars, rather than a single high efficiency cars, resulting in more pollution in Delhi, more congestion in public places, nullifying the effect of less running cars.
NISTADS has come up with an alternative plan named Virtual Attendance at Work and School (VAWS) to mitigate air pollution. The plan envisages allowing offices and schools to be closed on a particular day of the week, while the employees or students work from home.
Comparative Analysis of VAWs and OEN
VAWS (Virtual Attendance at Work/School
OEN (Odd-Even Number)
Immediate and Total
Phased and disruptive
Both cars and school buses
Not effected by increase in vehicles
Becomes ineffective as the number of vehicles keep increasing
Optional but welcome
May lead to discontent
Quality of life
Enhanced quality of life
May create stress
Enhances through self-studies
May result in teacher/ student absence
Monitoring and Enforcement
Difficult and burdensome
Decrease in related traffic like taxi, auto
Nil, may lead to malpractices
Effective saving at office/school
No extra burden
Less exposure time to pollution
Same exposure time
Large capital and maintenance investment
Easy; easier with advances in IT
Can easily be withdrawn when pollution level decreases
Large investments become redundant
Dr. Goswami claimed there are several socio-economic benefits for VAWS like energy-saving at work/school, reduction of travel-related stress and health hazard, higher efficiency and improved quality of life. He argued, VAWS can be easily implemented and monitored through an organised system.
"VAWS is sustainable and non-disruptive without any adverse effects and can be easily replicated to other metros," said Dr. Goswami.
He however, scoffed at suggestions that VAWS is a direct confrontation with Delhi government's plans.
"All we are saying is disparate situations asks for disparate measures. Pollution now is an emergency. You try to take whatever steps you can think of at a time. Are we not part of Delhi? We are also part of Delhi, so we have applied our mind, applied our efforts and come up with this solution and it has been communicated to Shri Kejriwal," said Dr. Goswami.�