64% residents of Delhi NCR surveyed do not support introduction of Odd-Even vehicle rule as a solution to air pollution; Many believe there shouldn’t be so many exemptions
- ● 56% of Delhi-NCR residents surveyed are opposed to 1 or more exemptions in Odd-Even vehicle rule implementation
November 9, 2023, New Delhi: The Supreme Court on November 7th questioned Delhi Government’s decision to impose the odd-even scheme for private vehicles in Delhi in an attempt to curb air pollution. In response, the Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the State Government will first study the SC order before moving ahead on the odd-even proposal from November 13 to November 20. Rapping the Delhi Government for the high air pollution in the national capital, which has crossed API of 500 in some places, the Apex Court said the odd-even scheme is “all optics”.
First implemented by the Kejriwal-led government in 2016, the odd-even rule, which allows private four wheelers to be driven only on alternate days according to the last digit of their number plate, had limited impact mainly due to the many exemptions. The odd-even system is not new as it is strictly being implemented in several cities globally. The impact is good both for the environment and traffic management where the law enforcers are ensuring proper implementation with heavy fines on violators.
With hundreds of posts and comments received from residents of Delhi and the 4 NCR cities on the recently announced odd-even rule from November 13th, LocalCircles conducted a survey to find out the pulse of Delhi NCR residents. The survey received over 21,000 responses from residents of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram & Faridabad. 63% respondents were men while 37% respondents were women.
64% Delhi NCR residents surveyed do not support the introduction of Odd-Even vehicle rule as a solution to air pollution
Odd and Even system for private cars in 2016 for two weeks had led to inconvenience for many, some even buying a new vehicle and many finding car-pool partners to travel to their workplace. While it led to smoother traffic, the impact on pollution was marginal. The 2023 survey asked Delhi NCR residents “Do you support the introduction of Odd-Even vehicle rules in Delhi from Nov 13-20th as a step to reduce air pollution?” Out of 10,644 respondents 36% or around one-third stated “yes” and 64% stated “no”. To sum up, 64% of Delhi NCR residents surveyed do not support the introduction of Odd-Even vehicle rule as a solution to air pollution.
56% of Delhi-NCR residents surveyed are opposed to 1 or more exemptions in the Odd-Even vehicle rule implementation
Going by the fact that exemptions in the rule implemented in 2016 did not help and led to confusion for many, the survey asked Delhi NCR residents “What all exemptions are you opposed to in the implementation of Odd-Even rule from Nov 13-20th in Delhi?” Some among the 10,582 who responded to this query chose more than one option. The biggest group of 56% indicated that “two-wheelers”, which account for a large number of vehicles of the road, should not be exempt; 44% opposed exemption to “women drivers alone or with child up to 12 years of age”; 44% indicated “vehicles with person/s with physical disabilities”; 33% indicated “private vehicles with school children in uniform (only during school timings)”; 22% indicated “electric vehicles”; 22% of respondents indicated “other exemptions not listed above”. To sum up, 56% of Delhi-NCR residents surveyed are opposed to 1 or more exemptions in Odd-Even vehicle rule implementation”. Community feedback indicates that people in general are opposed to exemptions as they are generally misused. Some suggested that since the rule is just for one week, exemptions should be minimized to see full benefit.
In summary, 64% of Delhi NCR residents surveyed do not support the introduction of Odd-Even vehicle rule as a solution to air pollution, a sentiment echoed by the Supreme Court. Even as the Delhi Government contemplates whether to push ahead with plans for a week long Odd-Even vehicle rule within the national capital, 56% of Delhi-NCR residents surveyed are opposed to 1 or more exemptions in the rule implementation as it led to considerable chaos and misuse in 2016 and very marginal impact on the air quality. If two weeks' implementation of the rule in 2016 barely made a difference, one week, as the SC has pointed out, will only serve as an illusion of relief from rising air pollution. To really make a difference, there should be proper monitoring of vehicle traffic, vehicle conditions, fuel used, and proper regulation of what is permissible or not permissible throughout the year and not just for a week.
The survey received over 21,000 responses from residents of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram & Faridabad. 63% respondents were men while 37% respondents were women. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.