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.


 

Odd-even formula: Restrictions to be based on dates, not days, says Delhi govt

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Clearing the air of confusion over the odd-even number formula, the Delhi government on Tuesday said that now it would be date-wise and not day-wise.

“Odd-numbered dates will be for odd-numbered cars and even-numbered date for even number cars,” Delhi’s Transport Minister Gopal Rai said. “On 1 January, 2016, odd-numbered cars and two-wheelers would be allowed on Delhi roads, whereas on 2 January, the even-numbered vehicles would move. After receiving feedback, we’ve decided not to go for days but for dates to avoid any confusion.”

The rule will be applicable between 8 am to 8 pm every day, and Sundays will be exempted of the number formula.

Here’s what the Delhi government has planned

1. Vehicles with odd numbers will be allowed on road on dates with odd numbers (1,3,5,7,9,11, etc) and vehicles with even numbers on even-numbered dates (0,2,4,6,8,10, etc).

2. Number will be based on the last digit of the vehicle as displayed on the number plate. Zero will be considered an even number.

3. The rule will be applicable between 8 am and 8 pm every day.

4. Sundays exempted.

5. The trial run of the formula will be between 1 and 15 January.

6. After discussion with the school bus-owners, additional buses would be brought on roads.

7. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will be asked to increase its frequency and extend its timing.

8. Awareness building exercise will be taken up at a bigger scale.

9. 1000 new buses in next three months.

10. A notice will be served in a week for closing down of Delhi’s oldest power plant at Badarpur and Rajghat, to curb pollution.

11. The government will come up with its complete blueprint by 25 December.

12. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will hold a review meeting with all the stakeholders and agencies related to transportation.

13. 200 check-points in the city will be created to check pollution level.

14. Trucks will be allowed inside Delhi from 10.30 pm.

15. Exemption in the case of emergency, disabled persons, patients, etc.

“The government have had a detailed discussion with the traffic police and they would do preparedness for the launch of this initiative. Like in the case of car-free day, civil defence will work along with police for proper functioning of the system. The CM has issued instructions to the PWD for taking steps towards pollution control. We’ll review all vehicles on public domain,” Rai said.

At present, Delhi has 4,700 DTC buses, by which nearly 45 lakh people commute daily and there’s a requirement of 11,000 new buses. Delhi Metro has 216 trains and used by nearly 25 lakh passengers daily.

Delhi’s former Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami remarked, “If the AAP-government succeeds in getting 1000 buses in three months, it’s a welcome step; but we need to wait and watch. But till then where those 50% people who won’t be able to drive or ride on a given day (due to odd-even formula) be adjusted? Do we’ve have enough buses, Metro trains, autos to ply them from 1 January? Before implementing this number formula, the government should have created an alternative public transport system to carry all those people who won’t be driving.”

– Via Pune12

Eminent Personalities Of Odisha

Odisha gave birth to many legends. Situated along the coast of Bay Bengal, it has become a multi – dimensional, multi coloured, vibrant, modern state all set on its journey in the present timeline to make its presence and voice felt in every corner of the world through its universal cult of brotherhood, its unique culture, luxurious forest & wild life, bounty full of varied coastlines, & colourful canvas of its beautiful art & culture. Odisha is quite rich in its heritage that houses many remarkable & eminent personalities who are the very foundation of putting Odisha on global map.

What do you want to become when you grow up?

The patent question of every parent and it is answered with pre-defined options such as “Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer, Teacher”. Some flat out refused these norms of the society while denying the suppression of their passion and went on to challenge the practice of the world. They had the fire in them. They did not care about people’s opinion or their biased criticism, because they knew they’re the ones who’ll have the last laugh.

This is the list of such people, who showed they had it in them. They went all the way, earned their name & fame and made Odisha proud!

1. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (Indian Nationalist & Founder of Forward Bloc)

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Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (born 23 January 1897 – 18 August 1945 in Cuttack, Orissa), was an Indian nationalist & a prominent figure of the Indian Independence Movement. He is perhaps best known for his advocacy and leadership for the Indian independence against the British Empire, as well as his early calls for ‘Purna Swaraj’ or complete self-rule, for the people of India for which he founded ‘Indian National Congress’, a radical and young political wing. He was the 20th century organizational & military leader who fought for India’s freedom from British Rule. His politics came into conflict with the ideas offered by Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji later allied himself with Japan to create the Indian National Army.

Netaji is a much respected  name in Japan. On 18th August,1945, Netaji died a mysterious death in a plane crash, which has been the centre of many theories about him surviving the crash and having a long shelf life after. “Tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe azadi dunga“, this fiery line echoed all over India during freedom movement, when he delivered one of the many historical speech. His contribution is no less than Mahatma Gandhi & Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who have been given much of the credit for the culmination of India’s freedom struggle. He also happened to be the founder of All India Forward Bloc, a left-wing nationalist Indian political party formed on 3rd May 1939, after moving out of Indian National Congress. None can perfectly describe Netaji’s sacrifices and his quest for the independence of India through an article or any medium. Not only the state of Odisha but the whole nation is proud of Netaji and his vision for a better India.

2. Jayee Rajguru (Freedom Fighter)

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Jayakrushna Rajguru Mohapatra (29 October 1739 – 6 December 1806) was popularly known as ‘Jayee Rajguru’. He was the first martyr of India against British. Under Jayee Rajguru, every household contributed to a mass movement which led agitation against the ruling British Govt. His attacks left a scathing remarks on the face of the British Govt. A study indicated that Jayee Rajguru was not only a great visionary & strategist but he himself possessed superior warfare skills & weapons knowledge, which uprooted the level British Rule to such an extent that later he was awarded gruesome capital punishment for waging war against the state. He did not appeal for mercy or pardon. Instead, he parted way from his motherland, head held high.
Shaheed Jayee Rajguru had remained bachelor all his life for the cause of his motherland & his fight against British Rule has no significance in Indian history. However, It’s about time, we get aware of Oriya’s freedom fighter.

3. Fakir Mohan Senapati (Father Of Modern Oriya Literature)

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Fakir Mohan Senapati (13 January 1843 – 14 June 1918) played a leading role in establishing the identity of Odia, a language spoken in the state of Odisha. He is regarded as the father of Odia Nationalism and the modern Odia literature. In his native place, schools & colleges are constructed in his memory. The name Fakir Mohan Senapati shines in the history of Oriya Literature. He dedicated his life to the progress of Oriya language in the later 19th and the early 20th century. His story is indeed the tale of ‘Renaissance’ of Oriya literature. His works were the epitome of his knowledge and wisdom. His works included penning novels, short stories and poems. Besides, he was a social reformer and educator who used his pen to criticize and correct society’s norms in a satirical manner.
+Notable works of Fakir Mohan Senapati:-
*Chha Manna Atha Guntha,*Mamu,*Prayaschita,*Lachhama,*Rebati,*Daka Munshi,*Randipua Ananta,*Utkala Bhramanam

He’ll ever be the master of writing short-stories as he injected a new life in Oriya Literature. He could rightly be compared with 20th century’s great novelist like Premchand & Bibhutibhushan Banerjee. In his writings, Oriya Nationalism was the dominant theme. As a recognized literary poet, Senapati etched his name as the greatest writer to have graced in Odisha.

4. Padmashree Shri Bhagaban Sahu (Renowned Folk Dancer)

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Padmashree Shri Bhagaban Sahu (21 September 1914 – 12 August 2002) was an outstanding dance teacher, actor, singer, director & choreographer. Throughout his life he danced his ways into the hearts of the audiences worldwide & became a phenomenon. Thereby, carving out a place for himself in the cultural history of Odisha. His long life is an amazing story of success, one can’t help but wonder about the secret of his well deserved success. His greatest feat included being the Guest Of Honour to the Queen Elizabeth II. His tremendous achievements can only be attributed towards two main factors. The first decision was being not to go down road taken by others, instead he undertook the herculean task of founding ‘Kala Vikash Kendra’ at Narendrapur in 1954 & ran it efficiently to power today’s generation to take up the challenge of leading a successful  yet determined life. Bhagaban Sahu was the man of deep strong conviction, this was the second factor responsible for his extraordinary success. On every occasion, Bhagaban Sahu proved his artistic excellence. This evergreen dancer was honored by the Central Govt. Of India with ‘Kendra Sangita Nataka Academy Award (1975)’ and ‘Padmashree (1992)’.
Padmashree Bhagaban Sahu bought honor and credit not only to himself but also to the state of Odisha, for which it was and will always be blessed upon.

5. Sadhu Maher (Hall Of Fame Actor)

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Sadhu Maher is regarded as the finest actor to have been born in the state of Odisha. He is the one responsible for bringing Odisha on the map of bollywood with superhits like ‘Ankur’, ‘Gharaonda’, ‘Safed Haati’, and many others, he was considered as a brilliant method actor during the 70s. He won National Award for Best Actor for his debut movie, ‘Ankur’. During those days getting into bollywood so elegantly was no child’s play. It still isn’t. But during 70s, when bollywood itself was in the process of evolution, joining the main stream cinema as a potragonist & winning National Award for the stellar performance, was beyond dreams for the ordinary man. But this gentleman, Sadhu Maher was extraordinary and he proved it.

6. Nandita Das (Acclaimed Actor & Director)

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 Nandita Das (born 7 November 1969) is a woman of substance who has taken her Odia roots and planted it deep and strong in the tinsel town of Bollywood. She has been spectacular in contemporary acting and has won international commendation for her work. This multi-talented beauty has  done some fabulous work in Deepa Mehta movies ‘Fire’ (1996), ‘Earth’ (1998), and has under her belt a directorial debut, ‘Firaaq’, a critically acclaimed political thriller based on 2002 Gujarat riots. She,along with her grace and poise is here to stay. She’s all set to make Odisha, world famous!

7. Pitobash Tripathy (Acclaimed Actor)

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Pitobash Tripathy’s Mandook made us laugh our hearts out in ‘Shor In The City’. He played a typical student in ‘3 Idiots’.
In ‘Shanghai’, he played the role of a common, who gets affected with corruption. In ‘I Am Kalam’, he was cunningly evil while in ‘Million Dollar Arm’, an international film he played the role of an interpreter.
Now that is versatility! He is an alumnus from the Govt. High School, Unit 1, Bhubaneshwar. Now standing where he is, that’s an achievement sir! He is the example of earning through hard work never fails. He started from theatre, struggled his way up the success ladder but through enough dedication and hard work, he’s working up big leagues in the industry now. Respect! Sir.

8. Sona Mohapatra (Singer)

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Sona Mohapatra Performs at IIM Bangalore

Sona Mohapatra (born 17 June 1976) is an excellent versatile singer, music composer & lyricist hailing from Cuttack, Odisha. Now here is one Odia girl, who has earned herself all the fame & recognition while delivering some of the brilliant music to the world. Her turnaround from a B-Tech Engineer to one of the best, skilled and versatile singer of the country let alone Odisha has been an inspiring. She has trained in classical music, but has made a career fusing Pop, Bollywood, Folk and Rock style into her music. But the main aim of Sona Mohapatra is to inculcate the influence of Oriya in her performances, as she is of the opinion that Oriya influences in Bollywood are rare as yet, unlike the overdose of punjabi, southern music & of western music. She is the active supporter of ‘Empower Indian Women Movement’, has performed in Satyamev Jayate television show to lend a helping hand to curb women related issues in the country. She’s married to bollywood music producer Ram Sampath, who is a household name now thanks to his innovative music composition in Delhi Belly, Talaash, Fukrey & Satyamev Jayate. She’s already a role model to the upcoming generation of the country. Give her the microphone and she’s ever ready to set the stage on fire with her sweet, soothing & melodious voice that has earned her a huge fan following. The state of Odisha is definitely proud of her!

So, that’s the Indian dream with some Oriya will & determination, which will inspire many generations of the state of Odisha to step up and mark the stamp of their success onto the world, thereby cementing the nation’s proudest state to be recognized as the best.

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.

Male Foeticide = Women empowerment…err perhaps


Rahul Gandhi, after watching NH10 would have been like – this is not exactly what I meant by women empowerment, but ah well…


NH10 opens to a dreamy drive down the grey-wide roads of Delhi and Gurgoan with a mellow soundtrack fading in and out to Anushka’s husky laughter and chatter about things banal. All is calm and beautiful as a good looking couple heads to a weekend get-together in the posh Gurgoan colonies. There is a little flirting in a South Indian language. Anuskha makes – let’s go home and make mad love – in telugu( or is it tamil …. pardon the retarted north Indian moment).

Oh yes, this couple is very cosmopolitan and chic. They are urbanization’s modern children – product developers and fancy people who use tech in their daily lives  and are unaware of the underdeveloped mindsets of their semi-urban contemporaries.

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In the first half an hour of the movie Navdeep Singh(the director) manages to touch and comment subtly on – urban couples, weekend parties, late night working hours, rogue elements in the suburbs, the typical mentality of it being the girl’s fault she should not travel alone in the night, how owning a gun ensures safety, how it is a man’s job to protect his woman, the tujhe-pta-nahi-mein-kise-janta-hu attitude peculiar to north India, sexism at workplace, honor killings…phew.

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That is as far as we are going to discuss the plot of the movie. I am not going to spoil it for you. Primarily because it is a very well made film, a complete assault on your senses and your psyche. I think for the first time in my life I had sat through a Hindi movie and not heard a single whistle or clap from the male fraction of the audience, well, I am sure they were shit scared as to how a woman scorned could extract her revenge.

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All the actors in NH10 have acted well, the direction in the movie is impeccable. To say that you will be on the edge of your seats is an under statement. The movie grips you, the plot moves fast and smart,  the dialogues are limited, the characters beautifully detailed, the gore is minimal, the portrayal of too many sensitive issues vivid.

There is a scene in the movie where Anushka threatens to push her predator’s progeny into a well. That scene had me wondering whether male foeticide should be enforced in India – kill the bastards before they grow into immoral animals. Pardon my momentary lapse of reason.

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After the Nirbhaya documentary India’s daughter, a lot of people said a lot of things, there were too many comments in the air about women and safety, rape and behavior, Indian men and their mentality. NH10 could not have had a better time for its release – a woman taking on the rotting scum of our society.

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The movie sends out too many powerful messages, you should definitely go see it.


If you are a male member of our species do tell me in the comments below how did you like this movie. If you are one of us girls, do tell me what this movie do for you?


Much Ado about nothing?
See the trailer and pass your own judgement –


Some of the opinions expressed in this article tread on the thin line of causing offence. People be cool, do not take offence to the written word. 


Image links and credits – kissing pic, crying pic, smoking pic, pic before trailer and movie poster.


You are watching Big Brother

How technology has empowered the common man


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When George Orwell wrote about the future in 1984 he described a dystopian prison empowered by technology to monitor the common man’s basest thoughts. With the help of fancy tech Big Brother was always watching you. While we still have our reservations as to how the things we control control us and we do realize that privacy is slowly dissolving away in the tides of instant communication and it is probably threatened by little known monitoring structures, for a second you could think we are living in Orwell’s 1984, but that nightmare is yet to be realized.

Meanwhile, power dynamics for mankind were first altered with the invention of gunpowder. Power grows out of the barrel of a gun and for most of human history, it has. Till recently that is. Once technology penetrated into the the daily life of the common laying before him a world full of knowledge and learning, a great equalizing era began for human kind.

What has technology done for the common man – empowered him obviously, how precisely has it is here –

1. Broken the traditional practice of knowledge hoarding
Today anyone with access to world wide web can cross check the knowledge they already have or that which they are spoon-fed. Anyone with access can also satiate a variety of curiosities about the world. One should of course be aware of the limitations/dark side of the cyber space.

2. A voice to the voiceless, a platform for your cause
Finding support worldwide for your cause, for your purpose, for your desires has never been so simple. Did you hear about that small Indian town acid attach victim who was covered by a newspaper and then a news channel and her dream to pursue fashion designing from NYC was ultimately funded by well wishers from around the globe. I could talk about the mushrooming of social network celebrities but let us not dwell so sociologically into it.

3.You have a problem, now you can solve it yourself
If you see a solution to a problem-of-many more often than not all tools required to implement it are available online. You think there should be a software to take down your thoughts while you have the most amazing ideas, a virtual mind diary of sorts? It is possible, why not, you just need to find the will and the intelligence to make it happen.

How has technology helped you in your daily life and otherwise? Do you see a problem which technology could solve? Let us know in the comments below.


Image link – here