Odd-Even Rule: The Final Word

On Friday night, 8:00 p.m., the 15 day Odd-Even experiment ended in the nation’s capital. Amidst great support by the population of Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated everyone for the success of the experiment.

But did the experiment really succeed?

Let’s take a look at some of the findings of the experiment.

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During the experiment, the highest P.M. 2.5 level recorded was 400 µg/m3 as opposed to over 600 µg/m3 in December, according to Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai.

True that this indicates a significant improvement in air quality but Delhi is still far from the mark of the optimum 60 µg/m3 (as suggested by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee). The takeaway being that:

  • the odd-even rule should be applied longer
    OR
  • the odd-even rule can only affect pollution so much

The bad news is that most experts are bent towards the second observation. The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), an independent think tank, said that there is no conclusive evidence to prove that the odd-even policy improved Delhi’s air quality.

Collaborating with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, the CEEW independently measured air quality and traffic volumes at five locations: Connaught Place, GTB Nagar, IIT Delhi, Mathura Road and Shadipur.

An analysis of the data collected indicates that the average air pollution levels increased in the first week of January compared with the previous week. However, in the second week of January, air quality was marginally better, but still poorer than the last week of December. (CEEW also claimed that their readings were almost identical to those of the pollution monitors installed by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee).

An average PM2.5. level of 306 µg/m3 was recorded during the first two weeks of January 2016. The average level of P.M. 2.5. recorded during the first two weeks of January 2014 was 330 µg/m3.

The problem, as the think tank put it, is that conclusive evidence was very hard to provide for the experiment given the meteorological variables of wind speed, temperature and precipitation.

 

Congestion: Traffic congestion was visibly lower in most areas. The reasons for this being that people largely followed the rules imposed (9,140 offenders in 15 days, or 609 per day). Metro ridership went up by about 1,50,000 people per day whereas bus ridership increased by 14,10,000 people per day.

However, there was a 10% increase in traffic congestion in the five locations mentioned above. This has been attributed primarily to a 17% increase in two-wheelers, a 12% increase in three-wheelers, a 22% rise in taxis and a 138% rise in the number of private buses during the experiment, as reported by the CEEW.

 

It isn’t a very clear image then. Some people have blamed the large exemptions to the rule for having failed the experiment whereas others have commended the government’s effort in successfully carrying it out at this scale.

There is also the large number of vehicles entering Delhi through surrounding areas of Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad, etc. which contributes to pollution and traffic each day. Largely speaking, the odd-even rule has impacted pollution. But to be able to provide long term solutions for the same would require the government to take major decisions on Delhi’s public transport and infrastructure.

 

 

Odd Even Rule: Halftime analysis

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(source: dnaindia.com)

8 days of the odd-even rule in Delhi and reports indicate a largely positive atmosphere. Literally.

According to the Delhi government, P.M. 2.5 levels saw a consistent decline due to the odd-even rule in the nation’s capital. Delhi Transport Minister, Gopal Rai further told the country on Thursday that “In December, PM 2.5 was at an average of 400 to 465 (six fixed pollution stations) . The data of 18 locations taken yesterday was less than 300.”

At an average, the levels have dropped by nearly 100 points signifying a drop in pollution by 25%. The worst air quality was measured near Tajpur (294) whereas the minimum particulate levels were measured at Dhaula Kuan (161).

The repeated concern over the air quality in areas bordering Delhi continues to bother the government and officials. This may be due to a large number of commercial vehicles plying on these routes, moving in and out of Delhi.

However, areas within Delhi were showing significant improvement in air quality. This observation is significant also because it indicates the acceptance of the Odd-Even rule by the commuters traveling in and around the various CBDs in Delhi. We believe that this change represents a positive shift in the mindset of the commuters.

But that’s not all. Data claims that there has been a 30% reduction in traffic volume due to the implementation of the rule. The violations have generated Rs 40 lakh (as reported on 6th January) in challans. The traffic police, in this time, had booked 401 drivers whereas the transport department booked 207 offenders. In total, over 600 challans were issued by the SDM.

The police reported that traffic norms were largely being followed and there were areas where no challans were issued, also an optimistic report for the next half of the experiment.

The change has been visible in other sectors as well, with petrol and diesel sales down by nearly 25% since January 1, as reported by ET. The number of cars coming in for servicing and repairs have also dropped significantly.

The Metro and DTC have been largely successful in handling the additional volume of commuters. The influx has been matched by an increased frequency of operation in the case of the Metro, which has been carrying 32 lakh passengers and an increased number of buses on the road in the case of the DTC, which has been handling nearly 40-45 lakh passengers.

All this points to a largely positive second half for the odd-even formula in Delhi. Although violations have not exactly gone down, a large section of the public has accepted the experiment which seems to be helping in making a difference.

Does Delhi really have the worst traffic?

Delhi has the most number of registered vehicles (as well as millions of unregistered ones) of all Indian metros. In fact, the rise in the number of vehicles in Delhi has been phenomenal.

Data indicates that vehicular emissions has been on the rise ever since, overtaking domestic and industrial air pollution.

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(source: “Vehicular Pollution in India”, Smriti Chand)

However, if you look at the latest data of Numbeo, you will find that there are 3 Indian cities in the top 10 cities with the Worst Traffic Conditions in the World.

And Delhi is NOT one of them.

The ranking is based on a number of factors such as CO2 emissions, the average time spent by a commuter in traffic, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction and overall inefficiencies in the traffic system among others.

The ranking includes various indices such as the Inefficiency Index, Time Index, Time Experience Index, Traffic Index, etc. which correspond to factors such as CO2 consumption due to traffic time, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction and more.

Upon analysis of the report, one sees that Mumbai tops the list, along with Pune at 3rd position and Kolkata at 5th. According to the index, it takes a person an average of 66.18 minutes to reach his/her destination in Mumbai, 60.82 minutes in Pune and 58 minutes in Kolkata.

Other Indian cities feature on the list as well. Bangalore is in 19th place, Coimbatore in 21st, Delhi in 23rd, Hyderabad in 25th and Chennai in 49th.

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Having 8 cities on the list, India finds itself in 13th place on a traffic index by country beaten by countries like Kenya, Russia and Philippines.

This is not to say that Delhi does not have a serious traffic congestion problem. But with wider roads, a system of flyovers and underpasses and metro connectivity, Delhi does not, contrary to popular belief, have the worst traffic conditions in India.

 

This is how you beat the odd-even scheme

Delhi-odd-even

Wondering how you’ll manage in the January cold without your car every alternate day? Below are a few tips to help you game the system:

  1. Work from home every alternate day– This rule gives you the perfect opportunity to do what you always wanted, laze around. If your boss says anything, ask him/her to pay for your cab ride.
  2. Stay in office– You won’t get a better chance than this to suck up to your boss while some folks follow Tip #1. Stay at office and spend some quality time with your boss.
  3. The name’s Bond, James Bond– Yup. Take a leaf out of Mr. Bond’s book and do this:
  4. Hide in the trunk of a lady’s car and save your hard-earned money. Totally non-creepy and won’t get you into trouble either*.*We take no guarantees as to what physical/mental/any other damage might follow.
  5. Keep calm & trust Nehru Place– The same place where your childhood computer was fixed every time. The wonderful folks there have started selling fake number plates to help car owners overcome the odd-even problem. If that’s not “seizing an opportunity”, we don’t know what is.
  6. Guys,buy a wig (maybe a couple of oranges?) and drive away. Hey, if Gutthi can do it, you can too.

If none of the above work or if you aren’t up for a dare, then visit delhi.carpm.in and find yourself a commute partner for your daily travels.

Disclaimer: This is intended solely for entertainment purposes. Readers are advised to use their own discretion while commuting.

 

 

Are you losing your money when you fuel your car

Can you say for sure that your petrol pump is NOT ripping you off? Petrol pump scams in India can end up costing you as high as Rs 200 per fueling. That could range from Rs 2400 per year to Rs 5000 per year depending on how frequently you need to refuel.

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Luckily, with digitization, almost everything can be tracked. But, it still needs car owners to be vigilant while fuelling. Here are a few common frauds that you might be falling for:

  1. Always make sure to check the zero before fuelling: Although most station employees tell you this themselves, it is still your responsibility to check that the previous transaction has been completed and the machine reset.Sometimes, the attendant will place himself in a way that you cannot see the meter. ALWAYS get out of the car when you visit a fuelling station and check the meter.
  2. Filling the tank in two turns: Say you need to fill Rs1000 worth of fuel. The attendant points to show you that the meter has been set to zero. After you acknowledge this, he fills the tank with fuel worth Rs250. When you point this out, he apologizes and sets the meter to Rs750 and fills the rest.However, he DOES NOT reset the meter after the first fuelling cycle meaning that you only got fuel worth Rs750 while you paid Rs1000.
  3. Manual overriding at automated pumps: Automated pumps are NOT tamper proof. Here’s how attendants scam you with a few litres of fuel. After having shown you the reset meter, the attendant starts pumping fuel into the car. This is done by setting the nozzle trigger lock which automatically pops off when fuel flow stops (with an audible click).However, there is a time lag between the meter stopping and the lock popping off. This is because the meter stops as soon as the machine stops pumping the fuel but the lock only goes off when the residual fuel in the pipe has left. The attendant usually manually overrides this lock as soon as the meter stops. The longer the pipe, the more fuel you were cheated of.

Some of these scams are untraceable and that makes it very difficult to inquire about and for you to be compensated for your loss. Here are some simple practices to keep yourself safe of these scams:

  1. ALWAYS get out of the car to visually check that the meter has been reset to zero.
  2. If the attendant fills the fuel in two turns, demand that he reset the machine after the first cycle. End the transaction if the machine stops for ANY reason (power out, etc).
  3. DO NOT be distracted by any other attendants trying to talk to you for anything. Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the meter
  4. The attendant is NOT supposed to be holding the nozzle after the machine starts pumping fuel.
  5. ALWAYS demand a printed bill copy. It can be used in the future to trace your inquiry.

Car Insurance – Here’s how to buy!

 

car insurance

Car, your commuting wonder, is one of the possessions that make your life simpler. Hence, it deserves the best insurance so that when you drive, you drive carefree. Buying online insurance for your car may seem like an easy option but in the e-world you might feel stranded after seeing so many lucrative offers. Consider the following factors before purchase your insurance online:

  1. Compare car insurance online: Shopping around for auto insurance can pay you back- literally.
  2. Car insurance quote: Do check the details of the insurance quotes offered by various providers. The final car insurance quote must have the option of voluntary excess, personal accidental coverage, legal liability coverage, breakdown coverage and coverage for personal belongings /audio equipments.
  3. NCB benefit in car insurance renewal: No Claim Bonus (NCB) is a discount that is offered if you do not make any claim in the existing policy year helping you to avail discount on your next premium.
  4. Don’t Reduce – Raise: Choose add-on covers to ensure that a customized need based solution for your vehicle is put together, like personal accident cover for co-passengers.
  5. Get things handy: In case of an existing vehicle, keep your RC and previous policy papers handy to fill details, apart from your debit/credit card for online payment. In case of a new car, after booking the vehicle, obtain details like engine number and chassis number, etc. for purchasing an online policy.
  6. Provide the valid information: When buying online car insurance policies provide the valid information to avoid hassles at the time of claim.

Shop smart and do your research.

When should you replace your car tyres

when to change car tyres

Many people are often unaware when their car tyres should be replaced. Below are a few indicators of when it is the right time to change your car tyres.

  1. Wheel Alignment and Balancing do not have the desired effect
    • After getting your car correctly aligned at a mechanic’s, do check if it running in a straight line. If it doesn’t, chances are that your tyres need to be replaced.Keep in mind that axle damage can also lead to these problems. So, get your car checked by a professional mechanic before replacing the tyres.
  2. Tread Depth
    • Take a look at the tread wear indicator to see how much tread depth is left. If, Replace the tyres immediately if the tread depth is less than what it should be, as a lesser depth decreases handling.
  3. Tyre Grip
    • Tyre grip depends on the tread pattern, rubber compound, inflation pressures and correct wheel alignment, good steering linkage. Keeping all these things in mind, if your tyre indicator says its time, change the tyre.

The distance travelled by your car also gives you an estimate on when to replace your tyres. Most tyres last about 40,000 km under ideal conditions, i.e, if they are well maintained and not used too much on rough terrain.

Recommendation:

Replace all 4 tyres and keep the best one out of those as a spare.When replacing tyres, it is recommended that you replace all four of them and keep the best one from the old set as spare.

12 tips that every driver must follow

Safety tips for new drivers

  1. Always put on your seat belt.
  2. Adjust the rear-view mirrors according to you.
  3. Avoid sudden starts: Do not accelerate too hard from a still position.
  4. Stay calm and focused. Many road accidents can be avoided if the driver is aware of his/her surroundings
  5. Observe your friends & family members – their seating position, steering, how smoothly they press brakes, how frequently they change gears etc.
  6. Ensure that the car is in neutral gear while starting up. It puts an extra load on the clutch plate if the car is started in gear.
  7. Always check your rear-view mirror while braking or turning.
  8. Use the correct indicator before turning. Otherwise, there is no way for the driver behind you to figure out which way you are going to turn.
  9. Obey traffic signals and keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you.
  10. Do not change lanes unless absolutely needed.
  11. Do not use your mobile phone while the car is in motion.
  12. The first 1000 to 1500 Kms are considered as a warm-up period for a new car. Try to maintain the speed to gear change ratio so as not to cross 2000 RPM during the first 1500 Kms of a new car.