MY VIEW: An Open Letter to Arvind Kejriwal on Steps That Could Work Better than the Odd Even Rule

In the MY VIEW section, we highlight some of the most pertinent and interesting letters and opinions sent to us by our readers. Have something to say? Write to us: [email protected] with “MY VIEW” in the subject line.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal recently launched the odd-even number car rule to curb pollution and traffic on Delhi roads. Here is what a reader Anil Garg thinks can be done additionally to resolve the critical issue. He shares some detailed suggestions that could help the government tackle the issue more effectively.
Dear Arvind Kejriwal Ji,

I hope you are keeping well.

As you battle years of neglect by Delhi on ecological and environmental issues, I have a few suggestions and many questions. As a government and as a leader, you must lead by example. While we citizens are regulated, the actions of governments are largely whimsical and shirk responsibility. But you are a different and better leader, walking the talk and open to being questioned. So, here are my suggestions:

Steps required to control Delhi pollution and reduce number of cars on Delhi roads


Photo: Flickr/Jack Zalium

a) Government should draft a policy/law for compulsory cab facility (pick and drop) from home and metro stations for employees of organizations (corporate, PSU and government) having manpower of over 500 at a particular location.

b) As majority of employees shall prefer to commute by office cab instead of private car, it should be made compulsory for large organizations to have one cab per at least 20 employees to ensure that at least 50 percent employees get/avail cab facility.

c) As significant number of employees of large organizations reside within a 20-km radius, it should be made compulsory for such organizations to provide pick up and drop facilities to all such employees.

d) Employees’ form 16 should reflect compulsory deduction of Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000 monthly for cab facility provided, irrespective of whether it is availed or not.

e) Encourage/promote companies which are in the business of purveying Employee Transport Solutions to corporate.

f) Bus stops should be illuminated with floodlights and LED lights so that passengers feel safe to wait/board/de-board at the bus stops.

g) Roads/paths around the metro stations should be illuminated well for the safety and security of metro commuters and to encourage people (especially women) to commute by metro.

h) More police on roads, around bus stops and metro stations for stricter vigil and safety/security to encourage people (especially women) to commute by public transport.

SMALL BUSES vs LARGE BUSES to promote public transport and reduce private vehicles.


Photo: Chris Wilson/Flickr

– Delhi government should ply small buses (traveller buses) having seating capacity of 15 to 25 people.
– Small buses can pick up and drop people right at the colony gates.
– They can be operated at almost full capacity.
– It is easy to maintain them over large buses.
– Distance/trips can be covered quicker and they can make more trips per day.
– Present DTC buses mostly operate at less than 50 percent capacity (i.e over 50% seats go vacant).
– In fact, several times big buses go almost empty with less than five passengers, which is a waste of public money and also polluting to the environment.
– Big buses also cause traffic jams when they break down on roads.
– Majority of passengers are required to walk about 500m to 2 km to reach the Bus stop.
– It is difficult to drive/reverse large buses as compared to small buses.

DTC should consider plying small buses as it would cut down the cost, pollution and traffic jams caused by big buses.

Reduce driving time on roads to reduce fuel consumption and emissions


Photo: Flickr/Saad Akhtar

a) Office timings for certain organizations/industries (Corporate, PSU and Government) should be set as 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
b) Remove encroachment and street vendors from all the congested roads of markets and colonies to reduce the driving time on roads.
c) Trucks should not be allowed to run on Delhi roads between 7 am and 11 pm (already implemented).

Dust, the biggest contributor (35%) to pollution, is everywhere on roads, footpaths and parking lots. This is an abject failure of administration (Delhi govt, PWD, DMRC and MCD).

– Take stringent measures to control and remove dust/dry sand/soil from roads, footpaths and parking lots.
– Make Delhi greener to absorb dust.
– Penalize parking lot contractors for not maintaining and removing dust from the parking lots.
– Penalize PWD for not maintaining and removing dust from the Delhi roads and footpaths.
– Penalize DMRC for over pouring dry sand/soil on the road dividers constructed by DMRC on the public roads at its construction sites, which results in continuous spilling of dust on the road and causing extremely dry soil to travel to nearby areas and all over the road by air/wind and moving traffic.

Why is Delhi govt shirking his share of administrative responsibility. Why is it not attacking the principal causes of pollution to provide long term solutions to control pollution.

Discourage use and production of Dhoop and Agarbattis 

– Discourage and educate people and children about the harmful effects of incense and  by advertisements
– Educate and penalize juice vendors for burning Dhoops
– Levy heavy taxes on Dhoop, Agarbattis and Havan Samagri for being polluting.

Educate and penalize street vendors for pollution caused by them


Photo: Flickr/Blese

– Educate and Penalize peanuts vendor for burning wood/cow dung in pot to warn peanuts
– Educate and Penalize Street food vendors for burning coal and wood in open.
– Educate and Penalize Juice Vendors for burning Dhoops

Educate Safai Karamcharis

Provide counseling sessions to safai karamchari on effects of burning waste in open and pay salary to them only if they have attended counseling sessions. Penalize anyone found burning waste.

Strict vigilance needed for people causing indispensable pollution

MCD/Delhi govt officials should visit all automobile (car) repair markets to fine mechanics who are found burning oil filters and tyres, and to regularly seize all the used oil filters and tyres.

Hope Delhi govt will take indispensable steps to control and reduce pollution as it is accountable for it.

Warm regards,
Anil Garg

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