An odd policy

The odd-even car proposal is being enforced in Delhi without any evidence or cost-benefit analysis


We are now preparing for the eventuality that on any given day, only odd- or even-numbered cars will operate in Delhi. Before such a policy is implemented, it would be logical to ask the following questions:

Do we know how many cars and motorcycles registered in Delhi are on the roads every day? Has any city succeeded with such a policy? Are we sure how much each pollutant will be reduced if this policy is implemented? What is the proportion of vehicles that will have to be exempted by this law? Do we have the technology and the policing capability to enforce this law?

Unfortunately, the Delhi government and most of the NGOs pushing for this policy do not have a clue about the actual numbers. The first auto fuel policy committee, led by R.A. Mashelkar, published a report in 2002, which showed that the actual number of motorcycles and cars active on Delhi roads was about 65 per cent of the registered numbers. From the political establishment to the media to the researchers, everyone ignored this aspect of the report. In 2013 and 2014, researchers from IIT-Delhi conducted similar surveys in Delhi, Rajkot and Visakhapatnam and discovered that the actual number of vehicles operating in these cities was about 50 to 55 per cent of the registered vehicles. These results have been published in special reports, international journals and newspapers. The Central and state governments were also informed, but no action was taken. It appears that because of the one-time registration system, no vehicle ever leaves the registration records.

The studies also indicated that the car and motorcycle fleet in Delhi was one of the youngest, had one of the highest fuel efficiency values, and was driven for a shorter distance annually compared to those in European cities. The most recent census data indicates that, in Delhi, only 13 per cent of the work trips use cars as compared to Singapore where the share of cars is more than 30 per cent — and that is in spite of the excellent public transport facilities and hard restrictions on car ownership in Singapore.

It is no one’s case that car-use should not be minimised in Delhi. But in order to do so, we must first know the facts as well as the international policy experience to better evaluate our options.

An impression has been created that many cities have been successful with such policies. The fact is that not a single city in the world has succeeded in enforcing the odd-even policy over any length of time. Beijing is the most often discussed example. But even in China, this policy was successfully implemented only around the Olympic Games. Only a few cities in the developing world have experimented with this idea — and all have failed. The results of the policy were unintended. For instance, it led to increased sales of motorcycles and cheaper, used cars by people wanting to own both odd and even numbered vehicles. This resulted in more accidents and increased pollution. It also led to a greater use of false number plates. Moreover, everyone demanded exemptions, including the elderly, the disabled and even those claiming to have an important occupation, like doctors.

We do not even have a reliable estimate about the expected reduction in the small particulate matter (PM2.5) as a result of this policy. As of now, there are only two scientific studies that give us somewhat reliable estimates for the proportion of PM2.5 emitted by the transport vehicles in Delhi.

S. Guttikunda’s modelling studies estimate this to be less than 20 per cent of the total. Pallavi Pant and her associates conducted a study around the heavily travelled Mathura Road and estimated the contribution of the road traffic exhaust to be 18.7 per cent and 16.2 per cent in the summer and winter seasons respectively.

A thought exercise can be conducted by taking an exaggerated version of these estimates at 30 per cent. In most cities where studies have been done, freight and delivery vehicles contribute at least 30 per cent. These will have to be exempted and so will all the taxis, emergency vehicles and other municipal services. This would mean that less than half of the vehicles polluting the city would be affected (15 per cent of pollution) by such an odd-even policy. Of these, half of the vehicles will be allowed on the road and, therefore, the most optimistic estimate of PM2.5 reduction will be around 7 per cent. We also know that when vehicle-use is restricted, other vehicles travel more every day. This leaves us with an estimated pollution reduction of less than 5 per cent.

However, we do have an enormous public health problem at hand and people want something to be done. The global evidence suggests that the best policy is restricting car-use. This can be achieved by enforcing stricter parking restrictions at all locations, including offices, and by making people pay for the parking. This should be accompanied by lifting the restrictions on the auto-rickshaws and taxis plying in the NCR region.

In addition, all taxes affecting taxi and auto-rickshaw operations should be replaced by an engine-size-based annual pollution tax imposed on all private vehicles and used, in turn, to fund public transport. The above measures will lead to a greater public demand for the provisioning of safer and more convenient public transport facilities. In turn, it would also incentivise walking and bicycling in the city, and cleaner air.


 

This Diwali #livemore

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Diwali is a festival of lights.
Haha, you know that. God that’s too simple a start.
Lets try this again
Diwali is a festival of lights.The streets are lit bright, our houses are swept clean, everything is prettily decorated, there is a vibe all around you, a positive feel-good vibe, there is something different about the atmosphere – you are around your near and dear ones and collectively everyone is in a good happy nice mood.

That is how Diwali looks and feels.

But, then there is also that morning after Diwali. When the entire city is covered in smoke from the crackers burnt last night. And there is also that week after Diwali when you realise that you have put on a few more kgs that you thought you would.

Everything, as we know it, is changing all around us. Last year all of us came together and voted an incompetent government out of power, a few days ago some of us got together and made it clear to that government that it cannot rule everywhere ( time will tell whether we did the right thing or not). Wouldn’t it be such a drag if we did it this time in the same manner that we have been doing it all this while especially when we know that we can do better, much better.

How, how do we do it better, you ask?
There could be more, but we shall just stick to the basics –

1. #LightMoreLiveMore
Light more diyas. Hang up more bright blinking LEDS. Do this not just for your house or for your street, do it for places which seldom see light. Go light a poor neighbourhood. Or if you feel excessively adventurous go light a village without power. Stick to the poor neighbourhood for this festival. Light has been historically linked with hope. Light the house of those less privileged than you, give them some hope, help them live more.

  1. #BurnLessLiveMore
    Why do you hate this planet?
    Why do you hate the environment?
    No you don’t?
    Of course you do. You are always doing things which hurt earth, aren’t you?

Anyway, that is a discussion for another time. But I think you get what I am saying. Don’t be stupid and burn crackers and pollute this beautiful planet because of which you exist.

No. Don’t . Just don’t.

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  1. #EatLessLiveMore
    This is one is just for your own selfish good, you will thank me once this festival is over. By now, I guess, most of us have learnt that weight is easier gained than lost. So please please watch what you are eating, don’t over eat, don’t over drink.

Be a little sensible, be safe and have a brilliant holiday season!


 

 

Navi Mumbai – The Mecca of Immediate Progress

Thinking of visiting Navi-Mumbai?
Here are a few things you should know, also some other things which might help you –

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The planned township of Navi-Mumbai is the brainchild of legendary architect Charles Correa (appointed chairman of the National Commission On Urbanization Of India in 1985,by then Hon’ Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi).It was initially meant to de-congest Mumbai Zone after its surreal population rise over the years. The idea pitched for Navi-Mumbai was for it to get recognition amongst best cities around the globe.

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Since then, it hasn’t achieved its former target but has been successful in its pursuit of being one of the few best to live in. This city displays a classic example of the process of urbanization in India. It has developed tremendously in the last 10 years as it witnessed quick progress and evolved into a happening new place comprising of posh residential complexes, malls, restaurants, multiplex theatres and various other landmarks.

Located about 29 km towards the north eastern part of Mumbai. Navi-Mumbai is an attractive city with numerous beautifully planned nodes such as Vashi, CBD-Belapur, Kharghar and Nerul being the prime ones.

Perks Of Living In Navi-Mumbai

1) Real Estate Agenda
Real Estate Projects in Navi-Mumbai considerably cost less than what is offered in Mumbai Zone. Icing on the cake is that the cost of living in Navi-Mumbai is also less since real estate investments value are less. Real estate rates may vary from the place to place depending upon its location and amenities available around it.
Housing Trivia – Navi-Mumbai is also known to be home to one of the finest musicians to have ever graced the musical universe,Shankar Mahadevan (of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Fame).

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2)Transportation
This well-planned city has numerous flyovers, enormous parking spaces and broad roadways. You can get around using the most common form of transportation – BEST/NMMT powered buses or Harbour Line trains, whose railways stations are also beautifully constructed. In case, you have to travel across the nodes of Navi-Mumbai, auto-rickshaws are the most sought after means of transport. Travel within any of the nodes is always efficient by auto-rickshaw through fare meter. With the help of ZopHop Android Mobile App you can get to know cheapest fares & fastest routes to get to your destination.

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3)Schools & Colleges 
Navi-Mumbai is one of the such destinations in the country which has the best of the facilities and the best of schools & other educational institutions to impart education & wisdom. There are few of the many schools & colleges to name such as Fr.Agnel’s Multipurpose School (Vashi), Ryan International School (Nerul & Kharghar), D.Y.Patil International School (Nerul), D.Y.Patil Engg College (Nerul),Pillai’s Polytechnic (New Panvel), SIES College Of Sci,Arts & Comm., etc.

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4)Shopping Malls & Eateries
The food here caters to all kinds of tastebuds which includes everything from South,North,Central & West of India) by various hotels & restaurants and also the globalization of the west has left its imprints in the name of McDonalds, Pizza Huts, Dominos, etc located in famous malls of the town such as Inorbit Mall (Vashi), Centre One (Vashi), Little World (Kharghar), etc. The luxurious eateries boasts of places like Barbeque Nation (Nerul & CBD-Belapur),The Global Culture (Sanpada,Off Palm Beach Road), Ahmed Bhai Restaurants (Nerul), Four Points (Vashi), The Park (CBD –Belapur).

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5)Hangout Places
The beauty of Navi-Mumbai is that you are blessed with these awesome places to hangout with your family & closed ones,being such as..*Kharghar Hills,Kharghar, *Central Park,Kharghar,  *Wonders Park,Nerul, *Rock Garden,Nerul, *Sagar Vihar Lake,Vashi.
Pubs and Coffee Shops around every corner of the town like CCDs ,Starbucks ,Rain Lounge, Cult Lounge, The Angrezi Pub, Brew House Café, to name a few.

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6)Landmarks
As of date, the whole of Navi-Mumbai is regarded as a ‘Landmark’, but none other the less it consist of many landmarks such as,
*D.Y.Patil Stadium, Nerul.
*Utsav Chowk, Kharghar.
*Central Park, Kharghar.
*CIDCO Kharghar Valley Golf Course, Kharghar.
*Coast along Palm Beach Highway, Nerul.
*Belapur Fort, CBD-Belapur.
*Pandavkada Falls, Kharghar.
*CIDCO Exhibition Centre, Vashi.
*Proposed Navi-Mumbai Intl’ Airport, Panvel.

navi14 navi16 navi20 navi19  Navi-Mumbai is a city with future. With each passing year, it is emerging as a city offering better work opportunities & healthier lifestyle. This city promotes tourism in large spheres and attracts flocks of tourists who visit this place throughout the year.

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Maharashtra’s weird Laws – Are we moving towards a dictatorship?

Taptapadi-Marathi-imagesFirst they ban beef in the state and now a new law-in-the-making dictates that  screening of Marathi movies in all multiplexes from 6 to 9 be made mandatory.

Okay.

Yes. You can take a moment and read that again.

It is gonna happen if Cultural Minister Vinod Tawde has his weird weird way of promoting regional cinema and theater. Sensible journalism should develop their prime time discussions around the following themes ( These are the questions the media should be asking – )

1. Mr. Tawde when you said the move was for promoting marathi culture you clearly meant promoting regional cinema right?

2. What is the condition of regional cinema in current times – regional drama schools, funding to these by the government, what does the career graph of a regional actor look like, what are the opportunities available to them, do we dare compare regional cinemas earnings and investment to the Bollywood in our own backyard?

3. Instead of promoting regional Marathi culture can you not promote Indian culture? While we do understand that one has to revive the (apparently struggling…numbers anyone?) Marathi arts industry, can we not set an example for the entire country in measures taken to unite the country by lets say airing creatively made documentaries on cultures from all the country? And then make it mandatory for all tv channels to run these documentaries on our brethren from the northeast, the north and the south? As it is prime time TV shows are corrupting the people of India.

4. Will someone please tell Mr. Tawde that people do not have jobs, people in Maharashtra / regional actors people do not have food to eat, clothes to wear , so shouldn’t formulate policies and laws in improving their conditions and then talk about culture? Oh, but he will say that this is not my area. Well of course it is, think about it a little, just a little.

5. Explore the impact on the common man if this weird weird suggestion is made into a law?

6. Discuss the possibility of having a day of the week dedicated to the same cause, something like Marathi Mondays?


Sometimes I wonder what is going on in my country – how can our law makers be so incredibly short-sighted, naive and well you know the word. That’s an abrupt end to the article you will say, well, yes it is, one can discuss ridiculous things for only so many words.