Thanks to my dear friend Christina, I had to listen to FM radio for almost a week while driving back and forth from the office as she took my pen drive away. If you live in Delhi, you must be aware (and irritated at the same time) of the “Namashkar, Main Arvin Kejriwal bol raha hoon” ads which come on the radio at least 61 times in a duration of 60 minutes.
I listen to him every time for various issues. But this time it has been pretty irritating. Though he tried sounding very convincing about the air pollution and the Delhi traffic reduction with his and his party’s indigenous idea of applying the odd-even rule, he forgot that he is not dealing with some remote village with high pollution level and loads of cars plying on the road but a metropolitan city which happens to be the National Capital!
If you are confused, let me just enlighten you with a new rule which is to be applied in the capital city of Indian from the first day of the coming year.
– Only the cars ending with the odd numbers will ply on the roads of Delhi on dates which are odd. Same goes for even number dates.
– Hell lot of exceptions are made.
a) Scooters are exempted. Or any other two-wheeler.
b) Emergency vehicles like ambulance, fire brigades etc are exempted. And that is sensible.
c) Single woman drivers or driving with kids below 12 years are exempted too.
d) CNG, electric or hybrid cars are exempted too.
e) All official cars belonging to the embassy or the state ministers (except Mr Kejriwal), Chief Justice, this or that and people from here and there are exempted.
– Sundays are exempted.
– This rule is applicable from 1st January 2016 to 15th January 2016.
All right, so what is the main funda behind this? The pollution level of Delhi is at “high risk” and thus reducing the cars running on roads every day will help the situation. Also, there are 19 lacs cars in Delhi. This rule will reduce the running cars by almost 10 lacs every day. This seems like a plan.
But Mr Kejriwal, are you sure this is right? I mean do you think we as a city are ready for this yet? Is the public transport so well managed that it can support the sudden rush of almost 10 lacs of people every day?
You say that 3,000 DTC buses will be added. Let us see if that will increase pollution or not. And even if comparing 3000 buses against 10 lacs vehicles is insane but I still am confused. I am sure the pollution level is not going to come down. Also, you have exempted CNG cars. So that is how much of the 19 lacs vehicles in Delhi? And how much are they environmentally friendly? We are Delhi bhai! We believe in giving a bribe of 100 bucks rather than keeping our vehicle’s pollution under check. The aam aadmi who drives a normal petrol/diesel car to work suffers here. No one else.
Talking about Metro trains. Increasing them is going to put a heavy load on the city’s electricity needs. Thought about that? No. The aam aadmi will pay for it by dealing with your regular load shedding. Problem solved.
Talking about the women exemption. Do we breathe less air than the men? Are our vehicles not causing pollution? No. It is a political agenda. If because of the odd-even rule, a woman is harassed or God forbid, raped in a private taxi or something, your Government falls. In a few seconds. Accept it, Delhi’s public transport is not well managed. The increase in the crowd will increase the assault that happens every day which women tend to ignore. Because hey, that is now the way of life for us. I have been scarred for life because of one incidence in the Metro train. I never travelled on the trains after that. It is not because of what happened, the pervert was taught a lesson. It is because of our “helpful” security officials. I have also been subjected to dialogues like “Madam, ek mahila ke lie hum baki logo ko complaints na sune ke?” when I went to complain about a goon. Well yeah, that is how your system work. But no worries, you can blame it on the Centre Mr Kejriwal,
Coming to the traffic as the reason which is being used to convince to see the positive side of the odd-even formula. I doubt if that is going to be affected much with so many exemptions. Also, have you seen how the DTC buses run on the road? Have you seen how they race against one another, forgetting about the thing called “bus lanes”? With less number of cars, the F1 racing for the buses will become smoother, no? And thus, we are not going to reach anywhere sooner while driving behind them. Have you ever noticed how well managed all the traffic signals are? The ones which are in the interiors are never followed anyway. And the ones on the main roads to help the pedestrians are just for show-off. Those are the things you need to work on first before even talking about Delhi Traffic.
You suggest carpooling as a solution. Really? People who work and have people in their vicinity who share the same route for the workplace are already carpooling. We think about that stuff before because we are aam aadmi with a very limited salary. Even if not, let me give my example. I leave at 6:30 in the morning. Where do I go looking for a person to carpool at that hour of the day, given the fact that your public transport management is just pathetic? Okay, leave that aside as there are some good apps to find travel partners for carpooling (though I wonder how safe they are). I used to work in a bank where I had to go to at least four clients each day residing in different parts of the city. People, who work in such profile – what do you expect them to do – look for carpools or travel by the amazing public transport before an important meeting or just skip the meeting because of the limited reach of the public transports and thus screwing up with the job? Salaried people can not rent taxis and autos eight times a day.
Had I not been exempted, I wouldn’t have been going to the office half the days. But Mr Kejriwal, I hope you realize that we are not Sarkari employees and we are paid for working and not for not working. Yes, please take offence in what I said. Please. The thullas also took some offence a few months back.
Why should I be bothered about everything? I am a single lady driver. I am exempted. My father drives an odd number car and he drives a scooter too. There is literally no effect on me. I am bothered because I am not just a citizen of Delhi but a responsible citizen of Delhi. The pollution is an important concern but meddling with public convenience is not a way to deal with it. Cars, our cars, are not the reason for the pollution that brings Delhi at high risks. Look after the road dust, the never-ending constructions and the industries first. They are a major reason for your air pollution not just in Delhi but everywhere.
I care for my health and my future generation and as I mentioned, I am a responsible citizen so I will do whatever it takes to help you. I have always stood by your policies Mr Kejriwal. But please don’t lose the sensibility. I am not going to support something that is so stupid in nature. Kyunki main ek aam aadmi nahi, ek naukripesha petrol engine ki gaadi chalane wali aam aadmi hu!