Monday, December 21, 2015

WIll Delhi Let The Odd Even Formula Succeed?

Delhi is about to turn into Oddistan – let’s even out the differences, shall we?


Pic courtesy - Hindustan Times

The Delhi government has been spearheading a campaign to turn Delhi into a spiritual haven by sending its denizens closer to God – one smog-full breath at a time. The enviable feat was achieved by the administration doing nothing, absolutely nothing – something that would have taken considerable effort because the National Green Tribunal has been shouting itself hoarse about Delhi’s steadily deteriorating air quality. For many, it must have been an uplifting moment when the WHO revealed that breathing in Delhi was akin to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, without having to pay a single paisa. We’ve heard of friends with benefits. But how many cities can claim to be a city with such smoky benefits!

Smoking kills a few but breathing in Delhi will kill all. Hahahaha.

Not anymore. Or so the Aam Admi government would like us to think after they adopt an odd-even policy for motor vehicles. We hear it has been tried in cities like Beijing and Mexico City, with iffy results. But I guess we are good with iffy. Cars with odd and even numbers will be allowed to run on alternate days. This will take 1 million cars off the road. You and I know that privately owned cars pollute the least because we scurry like alarmed kids every three months to get our pollution checks done. So, trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles, just like our elected representatives, will continue belching smoke and keep up their efforts at turning Delhi into a smoker’s only cubicle, like you see at the airports.

It will be interesting to find out how a city that drops its kids to bus stops barely a km away from home and drives to the neighbourhood market rather than walk, will cope with this trauma. Carpooling will prompt avid WhatsAppers to form groups according to number plates where they’ll be forced to have real conversation rather than simply sharing recycled forwards. Men and women seeking dates and mates will not only have to look for their soulmate but their nameplate-mate as well. Couples can breakup over conflicting number-plates instead of having to rely on the boring ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ excuse.

I can already envision a polarized society with the Even wing accusing the Odd wing of festering an atmosphere of intolerance and returning awards to register their protest.

Anyway, half of us, on a given day, will enthusiastically take to buses and the metro, right? Given our already bursting at seams public transport, what are the odds that people will reach their workplaces in one piece? Imagine having the ‘adjust kar lo beta’ aunty sit on your lap as she knits while the constantly chattering college kids stand on your two feet!

Revered Sir,

I beg to state, I shall not be able to attend office. My patience expired in the Metro and I stabbed four idiots who were standing on my foot from Rajiv Chowk to Badarpur, with a fork. I’ll be spending the rest of my life in Tihar. The food here is free. If you eat it, you will realize why it is free.

Arrestingly yours,

Suresh




But I’m sure once this odd rule is set in motion, it will even out Delhi Traffic Police earnings, bringing them at par with the AAP MLA’s who raised their own salaries by 400%. If Modi has Delhi Police firmly in his pocket, Kejriwal will earn the lifetime gratitude of traffic police. If he excludes CBI from this odd-even decree, who knows they might find ganga jaal and not whisky bottles when they raid his Principal Secretary, Rajendra Kumar house next!

Like any other rule, even this one is not exempt from exemptions that includes the sick, the disabled and single women. For the sake of equality, Baba Ramdev has come out with a new range of salwar kameez. Those who buy two sets will get a complimentary wig made from organic coconut fibre absolutely free.

Speculation is rife that essential services will be exempt as well. This will include lawyers, judges, photocopy stalls, doctors, nurses, chemists, diaper sellers, drivers, cooks, barbers, safai karamcharis, road sign painters, pilots, air hostesses, rajma chawal sellers, gol gappa vendors and paanwallas. After chakka jams by Gujjars, Patels, SC, STs, OBCs and ABCs, a day will emerge when only the unemployed Hindu upper caste liberal male will be the odd one out.

I feel the government can kill many birds with just one stone. Why not extend this odd even rule to dethrone Delhi as the rape capital? Let women drive on even days and men on odd. This will restore the lost reputation of short dresses that get unfairly blamed every time a man pounces on a woman or a child! This will also ensure marital harmony because couples will no longer have the luxury of bickering as they drive. Since men keep insisting that women are bad drivers, women only days will ensure no man will step outside out of fear for their lives.

For our elected representatives, traffic police can put up brain teasers like –

If at a traffic snarl in Andheria Morh, 6769 motorists shook fists at each other and 3435 people also blamed netas for this mess, what was the total number of people on the road that day?

Only those who are able to solve will be allowed to drive. Since most of our politicians get degrees at Agra University where 12,000 appear for an exam and 20,000 pass, almost all will be forced to stay indoors. VIP’s will no longer require security cover and the police can go back to doing their original job – maintaining law and ‘odder’.

No men, no politicians on roads will drastically reduce the number of feminists and activists who have nothing better to do than blame those hallowed species for all their bitterness. Delhi will become a land of peace and harmony and who knows, Kejriwal’s muffler may get nominated for the Nobel prize for peace. After all, he functions better and protests more with his muffler on.

He can complain against Najeeb Jung’s high handedness on even days and Modi’s bullying on odd days.

In the meantime I’m placing all my hopes on a Dilliwala’s passion for breaking the law and for jugaad that’ll turn yet another rule into a joke. And just like any other Indian I’ll waste time and energy critiquing it rather than give it a try.

Change is good as long as it does not involve us, right?





43 comments:

  1. I think it's a good idea. Though I wonder how successful it will be given our not so robust transport system. It does seem like a knee jerk reaction considering that we don't have so many things in place we need to make this a success. But then we dilliwallahs are sure to find a jugaad around it !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this is more of a symbolic gesture. Cleaning up Delhi's air is a long and arduous task.

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  2. As for the rule, till we have a top notch public transport system, any odd-even scheme will not work... who is afraid to break the law in Delhi? "Pata hai mera baap kaun hai?" is the most common line the police waalas hear... loved the post... total Sting Ray style :)

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    Replies
    1. And Delhi Police is planning to put barricades to monitor cars. I think I'll prefer walking.

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  3. It will not work.
    Unless and unless there is a will to implement a law it will never work.
    We have many rules in our country but there is no will to implement it.
    Take the traffic rule for example, there is a rule about when and where to use the high beam, but how many nut heads use it the proper way. There are so many accidents just by being blinded by the high beam.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! If rules could solve problems, India would be the cleanest, safest and most efficient country in the world.

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  4. I hope it works but I doubt it will. Just like Car Free Tuesdays in Gurgaon. One reason why middle class doesn't get involved is that the tax paying citizen has to face the brunt. Smoke spewing trucks, buses, tempos, autos, bikes are all exempt. In fact, I read somewhere that Delhi CM is planning to introduce ten thousand autos( his major vote bank).
    Great punches in between, Purba.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As usual the tax-paying class is expected to shoulder the burden!

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  5. I have my doubts that this will work. But I feel that the situation is desperate. Fixing the public transport system will take ages. I just hope that they are considering all aspects of the problem. But at least some beginning has been made. I just hope sustained efforts continue.

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  6. Haha. whether or not this works, your satire and humour always will :-D. "a day will emerge when only the unemployed Hindu upper caste liberal male will be the odd one out." is a hard hitting soon to become reality

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look at the number of exemptions we already have to the Odd-Even rule?

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  7. Very well written Purba. The point of view expressed greatly backed with stats and precedents.

    But I believe these are desperate times. At least there's something in the right direction. If governments launched only schemes with 100% success rates, we wouldn't get anywhere. I think most of the opposition is because it's Kejriwal who's implementing and not the "one who shouldn't be named in wrong spirits on the Internet" !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish every Delhiite could think like you.

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  8. Hope, that politics is kept out and the city wins, though odd and even has its own share of probs. Love Kejri muffler being nominated for Nobel prize..hilarious...we might just dance to 'Ban Karenge'

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  9. Delhi is a city that was once ruled by Tughlak...and don't we all know history repeats itself ?

    A few Delhi Wallas I know have already bought there 2nd or third car taking advantage of December discounts... Do I smell a CARspiray here ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking at the state of public transport, I don't blame them!

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  10. Delhi was where the Mughals pranced around once. They were always above the law and ruled the entire country. And, they haven't forgotten it yet. :D

    Rules may come and go, Dilli thode na sudhregi!

    A great article, Purba! True to your inimitable form!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope Delhhites don't take to horses like Tejaswi Yadav.

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  11. Loved the article. You make everything readable. Thanks for doing this.
    Regarding the scheme, well first it's just a 15 day trial, isn't?
    Also, was in Delhi last week and must say, there are way too many Cars. Something needs to be done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That I won't argue - Delhi does have too many cars.

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  12. LOL... We always complain about cleanliness and pollution... But when it is our turn to do our bit, we start complaining again...i doubt if odd-even will be a success... But we should try...

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  13. All those Delhiites who can afford them have more than one vehicle per family. They can now ensure that their vehicles have even and odd numbers. Simple solution. Others can enlarge their fleet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the odd-even rule is a temporary measure. Cleaning up Delhi's air requires many more initiatives

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  14. as long as public transport is not reliable I doubt if anything will work,

    It will take more to police this odd evwen.. they should BAN all provate vehicles on selected days .. 3 days a week , much better and easier to police too..

    and GIVEs time to workforce to work on things that needs doing ...

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will wait and watch. Drastic measures need to be taken.

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  15. Baba Ramdev has come out with a new range of salwar kameez. LOL!

    Coming to Delhi next month. Might have to drive around so I'll buy one or two sets beforehand. Are they available on Myntra? I have gift vouchers.

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    Replies
    1. LOL..are you sure you can drive around in toy cars?

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  16. I read that only 2% of total pollution is caused by vehicular emissions. Road dust and construction form about 70-80%. I don't see how this rule will work. Not with our inefficient and overloaded public transport system, and definitely not if trucks, non-CNG buses, two wheelers, women drivers, etc. are allowed on the road.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our resources are already overstretched. I don't see how this country's problems can be solved until the population count goes down.

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    2. We need more trees, grassy patches, fewer vehicles, law abiding citizens...
      The list is endless.

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  17. Looks like someone is up to commit political suicide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The real test will be on Monday when all offices will open.

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  18. Hilarious as usual! Brilliant take on the odd-even rule. Wonderful idea for men to drive on odd and women on even. :) Hopefully the odd-even rule (with all its exceptions) brings about some change which could lead to more initiatives.

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    Replies
    1. Seeing you after such a long time on the blog!

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    2. yeah Purba... had taken a long break from blogging. Good to be back. :)

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  19. It will be interesting to see if it will work. But yes, rules alone cant change things. Each & every person has to believe & be passionate about it, including govt, public bodies, companies etc. Great post as usual Purba.

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    Replies
    1. So far it has and Delhiites have surprised everybody by honouring the odd-even traffic restrictions.

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  20. A very insightful post about Kejriwal! Your male-only and female-only driving days idea is worth a shot. Maybe we should tweet about this post to Kejriwalji ;)

    Purba Ray at her hilarious best!

    ReplyDelete

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