Like it is happening elsewhere, in hubs of intense economic, and thus social activities, around the world, should it not happen in India, in Delhi?
Experiments like odd-even scheme of traffic rotation or phasing out diesel taxis or putting on hold registration of diesel vehicles, are these really going to work for a city of 1.85 crore people (18.5 million) and some 9 million vehicles?
Can these short-term temporary measures work for a city that attracts some 1000 migrants daily to the city from different parts of India?
Delhi is in a mess. Years of unplanned growth has led to this – that the Indian national capital is now the most the polluted megacity on Earth.
Unplanned growth, because our policymakers never considered what should be the limit to the city’s spread – in terms of its human habitations.
Now, even the geographical extremes of the city are real estate goldmine, with hungry prospectors looking to snatch that last piece of land he or she could have.
When, ideally, for a better quality of life, and for a world class city, our policymakers should have cared for its open spaces.
And a robust public transportation system was the first need.
Well, we all know how pathetic Delhi’s public transportation is.
And its failure led to massive increase in number of private vehicles in Delhi – multiples times of any other city.
These vehicles are now a major contributor in choking Delhi’s air – along with the other major culprit, the construction boom – that is again related to the mindless growth Delhi has seen.
Reducing number of vehicles on roads drastically, as the odd-even scheme intends to do or not allowing further real estate projects or banning diesel taxis or shutting thermal power plants are not going to help until our policymakers come with something practical, that is innovative as well – at least in the Indian context.
Delhi needs to think, talk and act sense on it.
And here Delhi means our policymakers.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/