Surge-Free Cabs, Free Bus Rides During #OddEven Days In Delhi; But Is It Reducing Pollution?
To make these #oddeven days hassle-free, Delhi Govt. has announced that Ola and Uber cannot implement surge pricing during these days.
Delhi’s smog and pollution has made the city a gas chamber, and there was no option left, but to again implement the dreaded #oddeven days for controlling vehicles and traffic.
Starting from November 13th, vehicles in New Delhi with odd number as the last digit (in number plate) would be allowed to come out on odd days (13, 15, and so on..), while vehicles with even number will be allowed to come out on even days (14, 16, and so on..)
In order to make these #oddeven days hassle-free, Delhi Govt. has announced that Ola and Uber cannot increase their price during these days.
Whereas, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has announced free bus rides for all, during the time when odd-even rule is applicable.
However, just like in 2015, when odd-even rule was first introduced, and then again in 2016, The National Green Tribunal has asked Delhi Govt. the very logic behind this odd-even formula to curb pollution.
And as usual, Delhi Govt. has no answers..
Uber: No Surge Pricing During #OddEven
Delhi’s Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot held an emergency meeting with representatives from cab hailing apps Uber and Ola, and announced that there will be no surge pricing when odd-even rule is applied in the National Capital.
“A meeting has been called with the representatives of Ola and Uber. The government will ensure that there is no surge-pricing during the odd-even scheme.”
However, even before this statement was issued by the Minister, Uber India promptly announced that they will stop surge pricing during odd-even days. This announcement was made immediately after Delhi Govt. announced odd-even days between November 13th to November 17th.
Uber India General Manager, North and Delhi NCR, Prabhjeet Singh said,
“This is a moment of crisis and public health emergency in Delhi NCR. Uber is committed to fully supporting the odd-even scheme. As a first step, we have decided to suspend dynamic pricing during the odd-even days.”
Besides, Uber India also announced that cab fares from Metro Stations would be reduced.
There has been no statement from Ola on this issue as of now.
Meanwhile, you can get free rides in any DTC bus, which also includes their cluster buses, during the odd-even days.
Minister Gahlot said,
“To encourage use of public transport during odd-even, Delhi govt to allow free travel for commuters in all DTC and Cluster buses from 13-17 November,”
There are 4000 DTC buses, and around 1600 cluster buses, which would be now available for anyone to travel in Delhi, for free. Around 35 lakh Delhiites use DTC buses daily.
And, Delhi Metro has announced that they will add extra coaches to cope with the demand, especially during odd-even days.
But.. Is Odd-Even Working in Delhi?
It is indeed great to see that private as well Govt. machineries are coming together, and resolving to help the common public during the odd-even days.
Transportation becomes a major issue, and surge-less cabs and free bus rides will certainly help the cause.
However, is odd-even rule helping in reducing pollution?
This question was once again asked by The National Green Tribunal (NGT), directed towards AAP-led Delhi Govt., which had initially launched the odd-even rule in 2015.
DElhi Govt. had failed to provide any answer earlier as well. Indirectly, they have said and odd-even rule is an experiment to control pollution.
As per Wiki, National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (NGT) is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues. It draws inspiration from the India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
NGT is citing Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s findings last year, which stated that levels of PM10 and PM2.5 was actually higher, when odd-even rule was implemented.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar recently said,
“The Supreme Court had never said that you (DElhi Govt.) implement the odd-even scheme. It was only one of the directions given by EPCA. You have not followed 99 directions and introduced the odd-even scheme and treating it as a picnic,”
Do you think that Delhi Govt. is right in implementing odd-even rule? How is your life affected due to this? Do let us know by commenting right here!