Delhi odd-even formula

What does it say

  • Its is set to roll out on January 1, 2016.

  • As per the formula, vehicles with registration number ending with an odd number will be allowed on odd-number days and those with even numbers will be allowed on even-number ones.
  • Violation of the rule will invite a penalty of Rs. 2,000
  • The plan would remain in force from January 1 to 15, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., except on Sundays.
  • It will be enforced by personnel of the Delhi Police and the Transport Department with help from 10,000 NCC and NSS volunteers, who would dissuade motorists from breaking the rule
  • Review of the plan after 15 days
  • Cars of many dignitaries, two-wheelers, CNG-run vehicles, emergency vehicles, cars driven by women drivers (with no men passengers and with only children below 12 years of age) and those driven, or occupied, by differently abled persons are exempt from the rule
  • The list of VIPs who have been exempted includes the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Justice of India, Lok Sabha Speaker, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, Union Ministers, Leaders of Opposition in Parliament, Chief Ministers and Supreme Court judges.
  • Many countries implement such plans when the pollution levels get very high and it’s not a permanent fixture anywhere.

Issues

  • If a large a number of motorists did not follow the plan, it would not be successful, even if fines were imposed.

China’s case- Is it the same?

  • The Beijing car limit was first imposed in 2008, when the city hosted the Olympics. The move followed a surge in vehicle purchases from China’s booming middle class, with cars increasing from 2.6 million in 2005 to close to 5 million by 2010.
  • Yet Beijing’s example is different from Delhi’s in at least two important ways:
  1. the Chinese capital built an extensive subway and public bus network in a three-year building spree prior to imposing restrictions – the subway will soon cross 600 km and double the length of Delhi’s metro system
  2. And most importantly, Beijing also put in place a sophisticated system of enforcement that does not rely on the traffic police. A network of surveillance cameras monitor traffic and flags violators, who are immediately sent a 200 Yuan (Rs. 2000) fine to their registered accounts with the Traffic Management Bureau. After a certain number of violations, drivers will have their licence suspended and will have to retake a driving test after a six-month period. The system is entirely automated, minimising room for either corruption or evasion, and the fines are high enough to ensure the rules are followed.
  • Beijing’s current system is, in fact, less harsh than Delhi’s: rather than odd-even limits that will prevent car owners from taking out their vehicles every other day, in Beijing, cars are limited only one day every week, during which commuters rely on either car-pools or take the subway.
  • Under the current limits, which rotates numbers every 13 weeks, tail plate numbers ending 4 and 9 are banned on Mondays, 5 and 0 on Tuesdays, 1 and 6 on Wednesdays, 2 and 7 on Thursdays, and 3 and 8 on Fridays. There are no limits on the weekend.

Mixed results

  • Yet, even this efficient system of traffic limits hasn’t been entirely successful.
  • Studies have shown that
  1. wealthy residents have moved to buy a second car, and the number of vehicles continued to rise every year.
  2. While traffic congestion would certainly be worse without the limits, an 11-day traffic jam in 2010 underlined that stricter measures were necessary.
  • This prompted the introduction of a lottery system in 2011 to limit the number of new cars.
  • Today, the Beijing traffic authority only issues 17,600 vehicle registrations through a lottery system every month, prompting some Beijingers to wait for months before being able to drive cars.
  • Other Chinese cities such as Shanghai have a similar system to limit the number of vehicles, using auctions that have become so competitive that on occasion, registrations cost even more than the cars they adorn.

Source: Hindu, dailyo 

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