Odd-Even Rule Success or Failure in Delhi? An overview

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odd even rule delhi

Odd-Even Rule Success or Failure in Delhi?  Let’s take a look at how reimplementing can help us 


  • Odd-even rule to be implemented in Delhi again after Diwali from November 4 to November 15- Odd-Even Rule success or failure in Delhi. Let us take a look 
  • As per a report issued by WHO, every year nearly 4.2 million people die due to exposure to outdoor air pollution and 3.8 million household exposure to smoke from dirty cookstoves and fuels and 91% of the world population lives where air quality exceeds its guideline limits.
  • Delhi falls at sixth rank in the world’s most polluted city

In the year 2015, India’s capital first implemented the odd-even rule to combat and clean-up Delhi’s air pollution. The rule was initiated by Delhi’s CM Arvind Kejriwal, and it was the first time any Indian state or city had introduced such rule. The rule read vehicles with odd and even number licence plates are allowed to ply on roads on alternate days. The rule applies only for vehicles which run on petrol and diesel and other commercial vehicle, cars with CNG kit installed and all the two-wheeler are free to run every day.

This year again Kejriwal is going to initiate odd-even rule and he has already made the announcement last week. The rule for Delhiites will be implemented after a week of Diwali from November 5 to November 15, 2019, and this is the third time Arvind Kejriwal initiating odd-even rule in Delhi to tackle air pollution. Ever since he made the odd-even announcement, many politicians from the opposition are bombarding him with statements back to back. In an interview, Nitin Gadkari called it a “useless” move, and the Member of Parliament Manoj Tiwari quoted that Kejriwal must rethink on the odd-even scheme.

Odd-Even: The worldwide Scheme

Although it sounds new to Indian roads, the idea of implementing the rule doesn’t belong to  Kejriwal, neither it belongs to the 21st century. The idea first came to Rome in 45 BC and the man behind the idea was Julius Caesar. Later, in history, there were many countries which introduced the same rule for their cities.

In 1989, the South American city of Mexico initiated the same rule with a different name and modified way where the number plates were chosen according to the days. The Columbian capital of Bogota, Paris, Beijing, and Milan too implemented the rules like odd-even to counter the congestion on the road and air pollution. But did their idea work? And the answer is a big ‘yes’. The pollution level was dropped between 10-15% in every city after the implementation of the scheme.

Is Odd-Even a solution to clean up Delhi’s air?

Delhi has been named as one of the most populous cities with the home of about 2 crore people. Delhiites alone own over one crore vehicles with more than 30 lakhs four-wheelers on the road. Its name is listed among the most polluted cities in the list of 1600 major cities by WHO. What is causing Delhi’s air quality level to severe is clear and transparent, but the government is still playing the blame game.

Read more: Mehbooba Mufti asks J&k students to help Implement Odd-Even

No doubt that motor vehicle emissions are responsible for Delhi’s foul air quality, but there are more factors to concern too. Along with the combustion of the motor vehicle, burning of waste, fire in landfill sites, burning of coal, cow dung and wood for cooking, using of diesel generators in parties, hospitals and factories, and the most concerning problem is the crop burning by the neighbour states.  It causes the most damage to Delhi’s air. The air quality index every year in winter reaches to severe in Delhi and in 2018 it hit the worse with an average of 450 AQI.

 The question is, will the idea of odd-even work? In a statement by Kejriwal, he said, studies show that it reduces the pollution by 10-13%

Odd-even once again in Delhi: Is it worth?

Delhi government has made it clear that they will initiate the odd-even rule from 5 November to 15 November and this time with more eyes on the traffic violators. This will be a part of seven-point action to combat air pollution caused due to crop burning by farmers in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

Will the short term proposal and implementation of the odd-even rule make a permanent solution to clean up the air and allow Delhi to breathe? Of course not, a short term solution will only show a short term effect. Still, it could be a little help. After all, every drop makes an ocean. As citizens, we should also support the government by doing our share.  We should choose fresh air over pataka this Diwali. Apart from it, let us follow the rule to atleast initiate a change. 

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