Enough of several debates that we keep hearing about AAP’s new odd/even rule to control the pollution due to vehicles in Delhi. I am having an engineering background and with basic knowledge of science & technology, I don’t think that this odd/even will yield in improvement on air quality but grabbing headlines on media and funny whatsApp jokes to laugh about. So, here are my suggestion which I think can make a great effect in reducing Delhi’s emission or our any Metro’s pollution woes through vehicle, however someone needs guts to implement it as this kind of tough measures may affects vote banks and not to forget also may attract protests in the name of democracy.
So, to curb pollution and take extra ordinary measures in today’s exta ordinary circumstances, these are seven such suggestions:
- Blanket Ban on any vehicle of any type which is more than 10 years old:
The maximum emission comes from older vehicle which usually more prone to pollution beyond 10 years of it’s life. This must include two wheeler as well. This may not be liked by many voters but this is the need of an hour as logically it won’t be possible to prove how one is maintaining more than 10 years of vehicle within permissible limit of emission of all forms. The government must also put ban on all 2-stroke engines which cause severe damage to air quality.
- Restrict two cars for each household:
This is very common problem in any major metro city especially in Delhi where there are many households who has more than two cars per person not even family. So the government must impose strict rule, for households who already purchased more than 2 cars by levying heavy surcharges on extra cars and for the future do not allow more than two cars to be registered in same address. If any family feels for any reason they need to own more than two cars then they should buy permit which should start from min. Rs. 5 lacs to own a 3rd car and higher for 4th car. Singapore has rule of Certificate Of Ownership which is 2-3 times than cost of cars, this has reduced car buying drastically there.
- Increase Parking Charges Multi Fold:
Parking Charges of Rs. 10/50 or even Rs. 500 is nothing for people who owns cars in metro and no more deterrent for them not to take car along wherever they go. Government must make parking charges in tune of Rs. 3,000 – Rs. 5,000 in congested area and Rs. 2,000 in other public areas to think twice before taking cars. We have offices & house measured as per per sq. ft. based on respective locations however parking space for temporary usage has been priced very low. Many major cities like New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong put hefty parking charges which sometimes even costlier than owning a car.
- Hefty fine on illegal parking:
Our most of main roads are occupied by illegal parking especially with trucks/tempos/Shop Owners vehicles which congest the roads which in term increases traffic menace and hence extra emission as cars mostly comply on 1st & 2nd gear in such jammed roads. In fact in Mumbai the stretch of LBS Road, SV Road, Saki Vihar Road and many more road’s one lane are occupied 24×7 by illegal parking which defy the purpose of widening of roads. Any illegal parking vehicle must be towed away for minimum 7 days with Rs. 10,000 fine.
- Double the Buses/Cabs/Autos and Promote Public Transport:.
Ultimately this has to be improved to cater all sort of audiences to motivate them to use safe and clean public transport. Our country has pathetic quality of cabs even compared to less developed nations. We must promote App based cabs services such as Uber & Ola and must have public transport which caters to all section of society.
The government must also impose criminal offense on refusal of Auto Ricksaw & Cabs. It should implement SMS or App based complaints on refusal and online suspension of license with SMS alert to cab/auto driver to enforce this rule. Any repeat offender with more than 2 times of refusal must be punished by suspending his/her license for a year. Government must also fund the installation of GPS trackers in Auto/Taxi to improve security. The best way to implement is to make it as mandatory required specification pre-installed at cab/auto manufacturer itself.
- Digitize the RTO and integrate with all the Vehicle:
A lot of country has moved to digitization of vehicles integrated with RTO via RFID sensors to curb traffic offenses & impose real time penalty without human interventions to curb corruptions. We must make use of technology to make all fines & punishment in real time based on these monitoring traffic offense via sensors. Like many countries make registrations subject to annual renewal by having kiosk at multiple place to have transparency on fine collected & zero leakage. Any vehicle without registration renewal must sends alert to RTO to take action in real time.
- Exclusive Freight Corridor to avoid heavy vehicle mixing with Inner Roads:
All major cities must have separate transport corridor which helps exclusively to carry on cities supplies and it must not overlap with public traffic. The corridor also must carry equipment to check on emission, allowed carrying weights from all vehicle in real time and freed from multiple check post to avoid long jams.
These are the steps which can be taken immediately and can be implementable within 6-9 months of time. There are other macro level steps required such as moving to Euro 6 fuel, Making entire country vehicles in single database etc.
If we are serious about pollution these are the steps which must need to be implemented strictly as well as holistically for cleaner tomorrow otherwise we will again land up in never ending debates on who is doing what and whom to blame to grab headlines with zero effect on ground.