The ODD-EVEN Rule has taken placed in
two phases in Delhi i.e., 1st Jan.-15th Jan. and 15th
Apr. to 30th Apr. The scheme was implemented to curb the
air-pollution and the road congestion. The Delhi HC asked the State and Centre
Governments to take the appropriate steps to come up with comprehensive action
plans to put a check on city’s alarming pollution rate. Then the Delhi state
govt. comes up with the solution to curb Air-pollution in the city by
implementing the ODD- EVEN Rule in the Delhi. The Rule was implemented from 8am
to 8pm in the Delhi and the Vehicles with the same number plates are not
allowed in between and the Sundays are exempted.
There were certain exceptions to this
rule, in the very first phase the Two-Wheelers, CNG and Electric Vehicles, the
cars driven by women having women companion or the male companion below 12
years, vehicles used for medical emergencies or occupied by peoples with
disabilities or handicapped persons, The Vehicles of President, Vice-president,
Prime Minister, Governors of the States and Lieutenant Governors of UT, Chief
Justice of India, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Union ministers, Leaders of Opposition
(Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha), Chief ministers of States and UT(except those in
Delhi), Supreme Court judges, Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha, Deputy Speaker
of Lok Sabha, Delhi High Court judges, Lokayukta, Emergency vehicles i.e.,
Ambulances, Fire Brigade Trucks, Hospital, Prison, Hearse Van, Enforcement
vehicles i.e., Police, Delhi Transport Department, Authorised by Delhi
Divisional Commissioner, Paramilitary Forces, Vehicles bearing Ministry of
Defence Number Plates, Vehicles with a Pilot/Escort, Vehicles of SPG Protectees
and Embassy vehicles with CD numbers. Except this all others have to follow the
Rule and the peoples who violates this Rule will be fined Rs. 2000 under
S.194(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988, the Delhi Govt. has deployed 5,500
extra Buses in the first Phase of this Scheme.
There were around 11 PILs in total filed
in the Delhi HC and of which 10 were dismissed and HC also refused to interim
stay to this scheme and also said that the ODD-EVEN Rule is part of Public
Policy and it’s outside the scope of Judicial Review. The court also bans the
registration of the SUV cars and the cars more than 2000 cc. According to many
experts the first phase of the scheme has worked very well and the scheme has
resulted in Delhi’s Lowest Pollution Peak. In the second Phase the exemptions
were same as were before but the govt. also exempted the Vehicles carrying the
School Students in their respective uniform but according to the experts the second
phase were not worked well and the peoples purchased the new cars with
The Delhi govt. came up with the Idea of
ODD-EVEN Rule from the different parts of the world where it is implemented
earlier to curb the air-pollution. The cities where it was implemented were
Mexico City, Paris, Bogota, Beijing and some cities of Italy.
In March 2014, Paris
introduced the odd-even rationing on its roads just for a day as an experiment.
It must also be added that the week before the traffic restriction was imposed,
the government also reduced speed limits around Paris by 20 km per hour and
provided all public transportation for free to encourage one and all to use it.
Violators would be fined €22. Electric and hybrid cars,
natural gas powered cars and carpools with three or more passengers were
exempted. The experiment has been tried once before in
1997 and dropped similarly after a day. The restrictions were revoked after a
day both the times because the officials had reached their pollution control
goals and there was no need to continue the experiment.
In Mexico City the
odd-even rationing policy a.k.a Hoy No Circula (‘today it doesn’t circulate’)
was introduced as early as 1989. Cars were banned for one day per week
depending on the last number on their number plate. Violators were asked to pay anywhere between $23-$69
(varies). Since they didn’t have even half as many cars back then as Delhi has
currently, they didn’t have to do it the odd-even way. They would pick out
numbers. For example, On
Mondays five and six were banned, on Tuesdays seven and eight, and so on. Even though initially there was
a genuine reduction in pollution levels (a drop of 11%), people started circumventing
the rule by buying two cars with odd and even numbers. Thus the policy failed
in the city as finally it led to an increase in air pollution (rise of 13%).
Ahead of 2008 Olympics,
Beijing imposed restrictions
on private vehicles by allowing even and odd license plates to drive on
alternate days with the violators having to cough up 200 Yuan for breaking the
rules. The Chinese government
study placed the vehicle emission reduction at 40% post the policy
implementation. Even though Beijing dropped the odd-even rationing policy after
Olympics, following the success of it, more complicated road policies were
introduced by the government.
In Bogota, capital of
Columbia, the policy was named Pico y Placa (‘peak and plate’). It banned cars
during the peak hours for two days a week. They wanted their citizens to take them seriously so they
started fining the violators 15% of their daily minimum wages In order to make it harder for citizens to break the rule by
buying two cars, the government kept on switching the combination of days and
numbers every year. According to some reports, the policy failed to control
pollution as many drivers chose to drive during off-peak hours thus rendering the
government appointed peak hours as useless.
air quality levels in Italy went high last week and cars were banned from the
streets of Milan and Rome in December 2015. This build up was caused by an
excessively warm and dry winter experienced by Italy.
Milan and Pavia decided to ban their cars from
roads between 10am and 4pm for three consecutive days. Milan has also offered
discount on their public transport to convince people to switch to other modes
of transport including buses and trains (1.5 Euros for all day, which on normal
days is the price for a single ride ticket).
Florence decided to limit its cars in the city
centre through New Year’s Eve.
Rome, the citizens with odd numbered plates were asked to leave their cars home
on Monday while those with even number plates were targeted on Tuesday. Some traffic restrictions
were also seen in the southern city of Naples which only allowed vehicles with
emission standard of upto Euro 4 to operate on the roads. They have also
decided to ban wood-fired pizza ovens for the short run. However, all these are short term temporary measures.
In the long run, there needs to be a permanent solution.