Live: We are prepared for Monday, says confident AAP on odd-even formula

Jan, 01 2016 IST

  • 16:49 (IST)

    Number of violators negligilbe, says Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai

    Gopal Rai also told the media that Kejriwal, along with six other ministers had carpooled to work on Friday. 

    He also said that he moved around Delhi to look for detracgtors. "I was unsuccessful," he said. 

    He however said that some did violate the rules. "But it was negligible," he said.

  • 16:45 (IST)

    Prepared for Monday: Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai

    Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai in a press conference on Friday evening thanked the people of Delhi for choosing the future of their children over convenience and making day one of implementation of odd-even formula. 

    "Delhi is ready for a pollution free city," Rai said. 

    Dismissing those who said that day one of implementing the formula worked only because it was a holiday, Rai said, "We are prepared for Monday."

  • 16:32 (IST)

    Congratulate the people of Delhi: Kejriwal tells CNN-IBN

    In an interview to CNN-IBN's Bhupendra Choubey, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated the people of Delhi for the success of the odd-even formula on day one. 

    Watch the entire interview here:

  • 14:39 (IST)

    BJP's Satyapal Singh stopped at India Gate

    Hindustan Times reports that BJP MP Satyapal Singh was stopped by the Delhi police at India Gate for travelling in an even numbered. 

  • 14:29 (IST)

    I had no option: First offender tells Delhi Police

    The first prosecution for violating Delhi government's odd-even scheme took place at ITO junction about 33 minutes after the restrictions became operational at 8 am on Friday.

    The offender, who was slapped with the stipulated Rs 2,000 fine, told police that he was heading towards his office and there was no convenient transportation facility from his residence near Pari Chowk, the intersection between NOIDA and Greater NOIDA, said a senior traffic official.

    Read more here

  • 14:19 (IST)

    It's too early to judge: Kiran Bedi

    "It's too early to judge as we are heading towards weekend, schools are closed, people are still on New Year holiday," ANI quoted Bedi as saying on the odd-even scheme. "The real test is when holiday is over and schools open. Working on experimentation is one of the strategies we need to address more holistically."

  • 14:10 (IST)

    Debobrat Ghose, reporting from ITO, said that the area saw less traffic due to the odd-even scheme:

    The regular chaos due to traffic jam, long cue of vehicles and continuous honking are missing at ITO - one of Delhi's most prominent destinations - due to the presence of the offices of CAG, UGC, Income Tax, National Science Academy and media houses.

    But streets have lesser traffic today. There is smooth running of buses. Traffic cops wth civil defence volunteers are relatively at ease today at traffic signal.

    "Today, people have been cooperating with the government. You can feel the difference here. Only one challan has been issued to a car owner at ITO for violating the formula," Divisional warden, Delhi Police, Mohd Shahid, told Firstpost.

  • 13:35 (IST)

    The people of Delhi have shown Centre: Arvind Kejriwal

    "Dilli ke logon ne kendra sarkar ki aisi-taise kar di...Unhon ne kendra ko angootha dikha diya. (The people of Delhi have shown the central government)," Kejriwal told CNN-IBN, as he talked about how the people of Delhi took up the odd-even scheme seriously even after leaders from the Centre criticised the scheme.

  • 13:26 (IST)

    Baat sirf 15 din ki hai: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

    CM Kejriwal told CNN-IBN in an interview that odd-even scheme will not be permanent.

    "On 15 January, we will have a re-assessment. Odd-even can never be permanent," Kejriwal said. He also said that this scheme was only needed "whenever pollution rises to a level that it becomes too dangerous."

    The Delhi CM also said that even though the number of cars were low because it was a holiday on New Year's Day, the fact that odd-even scheme was a success was true because the number of even-numbered cars within those few number of cars out on the road was also low.

    "Baat sirf 15 din ki hai (It's only a matter of 15 days)," Kejriwal said, as he re-iterated that odd-even scheme was temporary.

  • 13:15 (IST)

    Delhi University students cycle to North Campus

    "Save Delhi, Save India" said a group of students from Delhi University who cycled to North Campus today in support of the odd-even vehicle plying scheme which kicked off today for a 15-day trial.

    While the colleges are closed for a winter break till January 4, the students decided to make a beginning by cycling to the campus from their homes and vowed to continue doing so during the rest of the year.

    "It is a wonderful start to the new year. My new year resolution is to restrict the use of my vehicle to Sundays. Those of us who stay nearby will cycle to college and those who stay far can use the metro and then cycle from the station to college," said Kushan Mehta, an SRCC student.

    Read the full PTI report here.

  • 13:06 (IST)

    First violator fined

  • 13:05 (IST)

  • 13:03 (IST)

    Odd-even good for public space also

    On the other hand, Firstpost's Akshaya Mishra said that the odd-even scheme will help create much-needed space on the roads and parking areas in Delhi:

    Just back from the local market. The walk was smooth  - no negotiating through reversing, advancing and going everywhere and no angry driver honking. Odd-even makes one aware of the pedestrian space snatched away by car owners.

    In India, we have a class system at work even on public roads. We make them keeping vehicle owners in mind, lesser people can go to hell. Delhi adds 1400 cars to its existing stock everyday. Considering each car requires a minimum of 20 square feet of space, imagine the amount of road/parking space taken away by these. A simple multiplication will throw up a mind-boggling figure. Since we are yet to apply ourselves to this problem and think in terms of a way out, it's better we continue with odd-even.

  • 12:58 (IST)

    Little premature, ain’t it, to declare it a success?

    Firstpost Editor-in-Chief BV Rao said it was too early to really figure out whether the odd-even scheme was a success or not:

    It’s been hardly a few hours of the odd-even plan kicking off. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has already declared the plan a success and thanked Delhi citizens for giving him the confidence to come up with drastic solutions for pollution.

    Reports from the ground, including from Firstpost correspondents, suggest that the plan has got some what of a thumbs up. There are very few cars on Delhi roads with even number plates, today being the day for odd numbered cars. But it’s all too early to proclaim it a success and there are those who are questioning the media’s eagerness to pronounce a favourable verdict.

    Rupa Subramanya, an economist and columnist, who clearly hates the OddEven formula (she calls it nonsense), has questioned the media for its confirmation bias.

    Rupa and the skeptics are, of course, right. With half the city enjoying a public holiday and most recovering from the hangover of New Year revelry, it is too early to come to firm conclusions about its success. But if well begun is half done, I think will we see the same trend next Monday, when all offices and businesses will be working full steam. 

    But even if we can’t judge it in this short span, I’m willing to predict the outcome after 15 January. Here are my ten predictions:

    1. Delhi’s citizens will have given a big thumbs up to the plan.

    2. Delhi, the city that is deplored and derided for its VIPism, individualism, aggression, road rage, and lack of civic sense, will be the new gold standard for public spirit to repair cities.

    3. We will realise that as much as the citizen is willing to give up convenience and comfort for the welfare of the city, it doesn’t make much of a difference to Delhi’s pollution solutions to take a few lakh cars off the road every day. Delhi pollution problems have other big causes.

    4. A big chunk of Delhi might continue with their car abstinence even after 15 January, when the mandatory restrictions are lifted.

    5. Thereafter, Kejriwal’s government will have a narrow window of a few weeks to quickly come up with lasting solutions for public transport.

    6. These public transport solutions need to be as drastic as the odd-even formula itself.

    7. If they are not, even the most ardent supporters of this formula will be forced to take their cars out. Then the Kejriwal government will have squandered a great opportunity to ride on the most daring experiment ever conducted in the space of urban transport management in India.

    8. A government that cannot provide for necessities will not have the moral heft to ask individuals to sacrifice their comfort, if owning a car can be called that, for collective public good. So, the next level is where the Kejriwal government will face the big challenge.

    9. There will be many genuine reasons why individuals, especially businesses, cannot comply with this formula either in the short term or long term. Prohibiting me from taking my legally acquired car out on a legally paid-for space on the city’s roads, adhering to legally mandated emission rules on way to exercising my legal and constitutional right to livelihood, is never going to be a legal solution to Delhi’s pollution problems. Sooner than later, it will run into hassles. There are already a clutch of petitions lying in the Delhi High Court in the matter, including one by restaurateur Gunjan Khanna and lawyer Manoj Kumar, that raise uncomfortable questions of the government. Courts, even if the Chief Justice of India has commended the moral aspect of the formula, cannot continue to ignore the legal and the constitutional.

    10. That brings me to the last prediction and it is this: Asked to rise to the occasion to save their city and their children, Delhi-ites will have kept their side of the bargain. Having thus aroused the public to participate and be a part of the solution, Kejriwal will now have to deliver on his promise of a substantial solution. Kejriwal’s administration carried no baggage, it had no part in creating the urban mess that Delhi has become unlike the BJP or, to a very great extent, the Congress. So when he asked citizens to sacrifice to pull Delhi back from the brink, he had a certain moral authority which the other parties lacked and will never get. Come January 15, that moral card would have been fully expended. The citizens of Delhi would’ve responded in full measure, putting the ball back where it belongs: In the government’s court. And if Kejriwal can’t time his volleys well, he would not have let down just Delhi but the entire country which is looking to light from Delhi.

  • 12:10 (IST)

    Too early to say whether odd-even scheme is successful: BJP's Nupur Sharma

  • 12:03 (IST)

    Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai takes a bus

  • 11:49 (IST)

    'Government has to ensure proper connectivity'

    Parikshit Dayal, a 65-year-old insurance consultant and a resident of Alaknanda in South Delhi, stepped out of an autorickshaw with a briefcase from Nehru Place Metro.

    Talking to Firstpost’s Debobrat Ghose he said, “I’m a regular commuter by metro. I have an even numbered car, so I've come by an auto today. I park my car here daily and go out to meet my clients, mostly in Central Delhi. I will have to acclimatize to this new system gradually."

    He also spoke about the difficulty of getting public transport. "In winters, it's very difficult to get an auto in early hours where I stay. When you have deadlines and time constraints, delays due to non-availability of public transport is a major problem in Delhi. That's why I use my car. Government has to ensure proper connectivity of auto and e-rickshaws, metro feeder buses, DTC buses in every part of the city. Otherwise it'll be difficult for senior citizens, women, children and people who have medical problems," he added. 

  • 11:39 (IST)

    Delhi Environment Minister travels in e-rickshaw

  • 11:38 (IST)

  • 11:26 (IST)

    Not everyone's happy with the odd-even scheme

    Akshaya Mishra told Firstpost about a man who was clearly not happy with the odd-even rule:

    The usually grumpy elderly Sardarji next door is grumpier today. He has two cars, both ending with even numbers. He has already used saala thrice in a one-minute diatribe against Arvind Kejriwal. "Kya odd-even karke rakha hai? Saala kuchch maloom nahin isko. Aise sarkar chalate hain kya? (What is all this odd-even about? He (Kejriwal) doesn't know anything. Is this the way to run a government?)" he asked, looking beyond me.

    "I am not afraid of anyone...kisika baap se nahin darta...Lekin saala pata nahin ye AAPwale kahanse aa jayange (I'm not even afraid of anyone's father...But I don't know from where these AAP volunteers will come from)."

    He said he won't be voting for him in the next election, definitely. "But didn't you tell me last year that you didn't vote for him?" I ask. "Woh alag baat hai (That is different)," he replied, getting grumpier.

  • 11:20 (IST)

    Corporate offices and banks, both Indian and multinational, and Asia's biggest IT Market makes Nehru Place an important business destination. It draws large number of cars daily that also causes massive traffic jams everyday.

    Now at 10.30 am, when it's peak hour for traffic movement, roads in south Delhi are comparatively free of congestion, reports Firstpost's Debobrat Ghose.

    Parking at Nehru Place metro station has lesser cars today - only odd numbers, barring a few even number cars parked since yesterday or earlier.

  • 11:11 (IST)

    Guess who just praised the odd-even scheme

  • 11:05 (IST)

    Do you think the Odd-Even formula is working? Take our Twitter poll

  • 10:57 (IST)

    Kejriwal carpools with Delhi cabinet ministers

  • 10:54 (IST)

    A display board installed in front of Delhi Secretariat put the real-time figures of suspended particulate matter PM 2.5 and PM 10 at 360 and 480 micrograms per cubic metre, respectively, at 9.30 am, several times above the safe limits.

    The respective safety limits are 60 and 100 micrograms for the two and prolonged exposure to anything beyond that can harm the respiratory system. Air quality is considered 'severe' by Indian authorities when the level of PM 2.5 breaches the 250 mark. - PTI

  • 10:53 (IST)

    Delhi has done it, tweets CM Kejriwal

  • 10:51 (IST)

    'Main banaunga Pollution Free Dilli'

    Firstpost's Debobrat Ghose is reporting from Nehru Place Metro station in Delhi.

    "Main banaunga Pollution Free Dilli (I will make Delhi pollution-free)". These are the bilingual slogans displayed on small placards which AAP volunteers are holding outside metro stations and traffic signals.

    Passengers, mostly office goers and youngsters, are pouring in. But there is a difference today. Unlike other days, there are policemen accompanied by Aam Aadmi Party volunteers to guide commuters, especially at the parking area.

    At the turning of this metro station, AAP volunteers, alongwith cops, are standing at the traffic signal.

    Nehru Place Metro Station in south Delhi is one of the premium metro stations of Delhi. It has a large food court called Epicuria with a wide variety of national and international cuisines served by major brands of restaurants and eateries. This attracts large number of commuters to this metro station.

  • 10:45 (IST)

    Delhi Metro trains jam-packed

    Most of the trains of Delhi Metro are jam-packed, reports Tarique Anwar. Commuters who board metros occasionally are busy enquiring about routes. While some of them are asking their fellow passengers, others are busy on their phones, checking metro app and Google to know their routes.

  • 10:39 (IST)

    Violators of odd-even scheme offered flowers

  • 10:35 (IST)

    Here's a beauty tip for Delhi

    You look much more beautiful without those cars, says Firstpost's Akshaya Mishra. All your subtle nuances and contrasts come out clear. With so many of them in rest mode, one can even see the roads and appreciate them a bit. Too many vehicles surely make any city look ungainly, like too many pimples on the face. No matter of what make or of what price they are.

  • 10:32 (IST)

    People of Delhi have done something deemed impossible: Arvind Kejriwal

    Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal thanked the people of Delhi for the succcessful implementation of the odd-even scheme so far. "I would like to wish the people of Delhi and India a very happy new year," Kejriwal said. "Reports are coming from officers and the media that in Delhi, the odd-even scheme has been successful so far. Very few even-numbered cars were seen on the road."

    He added that the most of the even-numbered cars seen on the road were vehicles which were exempted from the rule.

    "By and large, the people of Delhi accepted this anti-pollution drive with eagerness," Kejriwal said. "As I had said earlier, this is something which cannot be done by force...I am truly overwhelmed by the response I have seen so far. The people of Delhi have done something deemed impossible."

    "In the days to come, the people of Delhi will do other great things and will show the way for the rest of the nation," said the Delhi CM.

  • 10:21 (IST)

    We should support initiative: Delhi metro commuter

    Firstpost reporter Tarique Anwar is travelling by Delhi metro from Jasola Apollo on one violet line - one of the busiest routes - to Central Secretariat and then Rajiv Chowk to take a stock of the crowd in metro.

    AC Babbar, a chartered account, has three cars but he preferred to use metro to reach his office near ITO, reported Tarique.  "We should support the initiate because it is for us. Me, my daughter and son all have their cars but we decided to use public transport for 15 days," Babbar said.

    When asked if he is a regular commuter of Delhi Metro, he said, "No...I am boarding the metro for a long time."

  • 10:18 (IST)

    Odd-even formula seems to be working

    The Delhi government's odd-even formula seems to be working as vehicular traffic has drastically gone down at this peak hour. Private vehicles are much less on the roads, despite the fact that it is a working day and most of the offices are opened, reports Firstpost's Tarique Anwar.

  • 10:17 (IST)

    No, a burqa will not help you in avoiding cops

    A fun picture of a man clad in burqa doing thumbs up to cops is doing the rounds on internet. Don't try it. If you are a man, a burqa won't be very comfortable for you, says Akshaya Mishra. Moreover, your wife or girl friend may think you are a cheapo. If volunteers catch you, well, then you never know what is in store. The message: avoid making ass of yourself, comply with odd-even.

  • 09:59 (IST)

    Kapil Mishra reaches office on bike

  • 09:54 (IST)

    Pollution meters put up in Delhi

  • 09:50 (IST)

    Co-operate with us for 15 days: Bassi

    Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi has appealed to the people of Delhi to co-operate with the Delhi police during the trial period of the odd-even scheme.

    "I appeal to people to cooperate with us for the coming 15 days," ANI quoted him as saying.

  • 09:41 (IST)

    #IamWithOddEven top trend on Twitter

  • 09:26 (IST)

    Ready for odd-even? asks CM Kejriwal

  • 09:24 (IST)

    Delhi Transport Ministry gears up for odd-even scheme

  • 09:18 (IST)

    Volunteers in Delhi ready with roses for people violating rules

  • 09:17 (IST)

  • 09:16 (IST)

    This is for our children: Gopal Rai

    Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that this scheme was being implemented for the children of Delhi.

    "All this is for our children because pollution is slow poison," ANI quoted Rai as saying.

    Another Delhi minister Sateyndra Jain had said, "I am confident that people of Delhi will ensure that the odd-even formula is a success."

  • 09:13 (IST)

    If the cops don't catch you, the volunteers will

    If you are planning to dodge odd-even, note this. If the cops don't catch you, spotters and volunteers will, reports Akshaya Mishra. They will be keeping an eye on all vehicles at red lights and passing the information to policemen. Don't try to sneak through the bylanes; there are 150 check points. If you escape point A, there are chances that you would get caught at point B. AAP volunteers may shame you with a rose.

  • 09:11 (IST)

    Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra leaves for work on a motorcycle

  • 08:55 (IST)

    'Everybody has to come forward for the cause'

    "Everybody in Delhi has to come forward voluntarily for the cause to save themselves and their children from the effect of this increasing pollution. It may be little difficult in the beginning to follow this odd-even formula, but with certain improvements and corrections over the time, it will help. It's not just the government's job; it's the responsibility of every individual in Delhi to keep Delhi's air clean," noted theatre personality MK Raina told Firstpost.

  • 08:40 (IST)

    Quiet roads: Odd-even or hangover?
     
    The roads in this part of Delhi bordering Ghaziabad are unusually quiet, reports Akshaya Mishra of Firstpost. We're not sure whether it’s the New Year celebration hangover at work or Delhi has become really serious about odd-even.

    Today is 1 January and according to AAP government’s advertisement, the roads are for vehicles with odd numbers. With half the cars in rest mode, the scene of action would be metro and bus stations. If Delhiites chose to bunk work and be with families today, the government’s unique formula will have a great beginning by default.

Hey Delhi, are you ready for the challenge?

Come on, Delhi, let’s do it.

Year 2016 opens with a test of resolve for us Delhiites. The question for us is blunt and unambiguous: do we have it in us to take control of our lives and make it better? As the odd-even formula plays out on the roads from today, the choice for us is limited indeed. We have to cooperate or live with the guilt of not being responsible in a matter that concerns our health and that of our children. This formula is no silver bullet for the gargantuan air pollution problem the city faces; it’s not even a half-way measure given all those exemptions, but it’s a small beginning towards a much bigger end.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Keeping half the vehicles off the roads is no big deal if we decide to give it a try. Yes, many of us have been cynical about the idea for some time now. We know there would be problems for all of us for a few days. We have already raised many doubts in courts and public forums. But now that it’s upon us, let’s keep all that behind us. If we clear the test this time this will be a tribute to our fabled collective spirit.
Delhi, are you game?

The trigger

Around 8.5 million vehicles clog Delhi's roads and 1,400 new cars are being added every day. This has contributed to Delhi being the most polluted among 1,600 cities in the world that were surveyed by the World Health Organisation last year.

Delhi is the most polluted city in the world. Its 20 million population is exposed every day to over 153 micrograms per cubic metre of 2.5 particulate matter -- between 15 to 20 times higher than what is desirable according to the World Health Organisation. The pollution levels have reached so alarming proportions that the Delhi High Court had to observe that living in the city was akin "living in a gas chamber. The court asked the state government to take strict measures to reduce pollution levels.

According to the Delhi government, the city has 20 lakh registered cars. As many as 1,400 vehicles are being added to the existing stock everyday. As per a study carried out by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), about 10 percent of the urban land of the city is used up by stationary vehicles. It is a little less than the city’s forest cover, which is around 11.5 percent of the total land. The situation, experts say, will be more chaotic in future with as many as 1.6 lakh new vehicles getting on the city’s roads every year with no corresponding increase in space to accommodate them.

Over the last decade, the vehicular population in Delhi has registered a phenomenal growth of 97 percent to 81 lakh – 25 lakh two-wheelers and rest four wheelers. Out of the total number of registered vehicles, 60 lakh are privately owned. These remain parked most of the time and meet only 15 percent of Delhi’s travel needs, they say, adding the city needs an area as big as 360 football fields to take in the new vehicles.

Challenges to be overcome

Buses

At present, the fleet strength of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) stands at 4,705 for 45 lakh commuters. There are only 2,506 non-AC and 1,275 AC low floor buses. Each bus makes 10 trips a day on an average and maintenance of these buses is a big task. On an average, at least 600 break downs are reported on these buses everyday, which means that at least half of these buses are out of the day’s schedule. In actual operational terms, not even 4,705 buses are on the roads everyday. In the morning shift, which sees maximum number of buses being put into service, only 4,200 buses are out as scheduled on an average. In the evening, this number goes down to barely 3,800. To cope with the extra pressure on the public transport network, Delhi's government has hired around 3,000 private buses to provide shuttle services into the city from residential areas. This is according to a PIL in the high court.

Schools have been ordered to remain closed until the trial ends on January 15 so that their buses can be pressed into action. Four hundred private schools have challenged this decision in high court, which has said no school can be forced to provide its buses for the experiment. The DTC has been waiting for 1,380 buses for over two years even though funds were approved by previous governments. There is only one bus to cater to thousands of commuters here.

Delhi Metro

The Delhi Metro still covers only 12 percent of the area of the city within walking distance. Many such metro projects, which are under construction, are delayed.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, according to PTI, has decided to make 70 additional trips during the odd-even trial period, taking the number of daily trips to 3,192, that will lead to a marginal increase in the frequency of its services to tackle an expected rush of passengers. These have been distributed over Red, Blue, Yellow and Orange (Airport Express) lines with 12, 11, 17 and 30 additional trips respectively. According to data provided by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the total number of trips undertaken in November stood at 3,122.

DMRC, which has in its fleet 220 trains, will be using 198 trains daily to achieve the target. "We will be pressing into service the maximum number of trains possible operationally during this period keeping only the essential maintenance reserve," a metro official said. Accordingly, the highest train frequency on Blue Line (Line 3/4), that connects Dwarka to Noida City Centre, would be 2 minutes 30 seconds (between 9-10 AM). The same would be 2 mins 18 secs on Line 2, that connects Samaypur Badli to Gurgaon's Huda City Centre. During off-peak hours (11 am to 5 pm), trains would run at an interval of 2 minutes 42 seconds on Blue Line while the same would be 2 mins 40 secs on Yellow Line, a slight improvement over the existing timings. On 28 August, DMRC had carried its highest ever ridership of over 32 lakhs with an operational fleet of 196 trains.

NCR

Delhi is surrounded by small cities commonly known as National Capital Region (NCR). An NCR is metropolitan area that encompasses the entire National Capital territory of Delhi, which includes New Delhi, as well as urban areas surrounding it in neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. NCR is India’s largest and one of the world’s largest agglomerations with a population of over 47,000,000 as per the 2011 Census. Located in different states such as Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and each state is differently developed. All have infrastructure and connectivity problems. Millions reach Delhi from these districts for work from Noida to Gurgaon and vice versa. Further, these satellite districts were developed with the main motive to provide impetus to industries. And most importantly, these districts provide employment to several persons.

A majority of places in Delhi or in the satellite towns are not well connected with public transport and the only option is a private vehicle. If the scheme of odd and even numbers is implemented every alternate day, don’t you think that the satellite towns and districts will become inaccessible to several persons who do not have the registration number of the vehicle which is applicable on that given day? The connectivity with Delhi from Noida and Ghaziabad is primarily through cars. Everyday, nearly 1,10,000 cars travel between these cities. If the scheme is implemented, it will render 55,000 of the cars plying between the cities ineligible for driving.

Now, take a look at the connectivity of the satellite cities (Ghaziabad and Noida) via metro. Both Vaishali metro station in Ghaziabad and Noida City Centre, metro trains run packed in peak hours. The average daily footfall at Vaishali metro station is 40,000 and the Noida City Centre is 30,000. If all those people rendered ineligible to drive, switch to metro, the total average footfall per day will become around 60,000 at Noida and 65,000 at Vaishali. Therefore, the burden on public transport in these neighbouring cities will be beyond manageable and will lead to chaos. In addition, in the absence of clear-cut guidelines for citizens travelling through the midnight and those who are travelling from different states through the city, how will your government manage?

What Delhiites feel

"Hey, Delhi. Please follow the Odd-Even formula as it is for your and your children's health and to make your city cleaner. Let's make it a big success"—Neeraj Kumar, former Commissioner of Delhi Police.

"Make odd-even formula a success and help in developing an alternative communication system. We have to get out of our cars to free-up more road space for safe public transport, cycling and walking. There is an urgent need to protect the health of our children. All have to get out of the political discourse on this. This winter is worse than the previous year in terms of air pollution. Delhi-ites have to take the lead to bring down the peak pollution level."—Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director, The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

"Come on Delhi, do it. All eyes are set on you. The rise in pollution in Delhi is increasingly causing heart and respiratory problems for the people living here with the young and aged population being the worst hit. Chronic inflammation of the lungs and PM 2.5 has been found to be a major risk factor in heart diseases"—Dr Randeep Guleria, pulmonary specialist at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.