Kejriwal Ji, You Dont Leave Me An Option

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JanPratinidhi

Kejriwal Ji, You Dont Leave Me An Option


EDITOR'S PICK / From the pen of Jitendra Varma   /   Apr 25, 2016

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Dear Sir I do not know who is this omniscient and omnipresent public that keeps egging you to retain the odd even formula but you have certainly left me with no option. I would remind you, though, that I have never broken any traffic law and I am a tax paying, middle class senior citizen who has just come out of a stent surgery for main artery of the heart and still working hard to be productive to the society. I own an odd number car and I live in NCR.
 
I tried everything which I could, honestly as a concerned citizen, to respect the odd even regime and chug on. Got up at 6 in the morning to rush to office in Delhi to park my car before 8 am, work till 8 in the night to reach home at 10 pm; postponed all commuting within the city for next day when odd number cars are allowed on the road spending the same amount of fuel but recklessly; burning two hours every day, of my time looking for rickshaws, three wheelers, taxis, metros, and the invisible bus for a journey which would take 30 minutes by car even in the normal traffic condition without odd-even; forced to breathe in the highly toxic air of Delhi every time I am without my car; watching hundreds of cars of prohibited numbers zipping through with impunity and looking up to the sky for divine justice; I walked instead of taking any transport; I tried working from home; I tried everything humanly possible.
 
I assumed that the OEP would do away with traffic jams but nothing of that sort. I wait in much worse jams despite number of cars on road being halved. I realized that these jams were not because there were too many cars but because there was no strategic and structural planning involved in managing traffic. I also realized that now the peak hours have conveniently stretched to pre 8 am and post 8 pm also, when both odd and even numbered cars jostle for space in the Delhi traffic.  
 
So I have abandoned my compliance to your strict regime. And I have started to think how to beat the system. I might buy a new car with even number; I may get an old car with even number plates; I could exchange my car with my friend close by on alternate days as he doesn’t come to Delhi for work; I travel all days with my medical reports and operation details; I may bribe the traffic cops if and when they catch me; I get my old polluting car from my hometown and use it in Delhi; I may also try getting a CNG certificate on the sly; I might register on Ola or Uber as a taxi and never pick a customer; I might join the pressure on you for accepting CII recommendation of last digit off days as per calendar; I might try  becoming a leader for the urban poor and win their vote by banning cars on roads and also claim that the whole Delhi is happy with odd-even rule.
 
Have you ever thought what makes you claim that odd even program is successful – who are those who give you the feedback? Let me point it out for you.
 
1.     Those who don’t have a car. They are the happiest  
 
2.     Those who have two cars for odd even days
 
3.     Those who have been able to beat the system by conjuring cheat codes
 
4.     Those who have free conveyance on office expense
 
5.     Those who can afford taxis
 
6.     Those who are retired and don’t have to go out
 
7.     Students who in any case travel by public transport
 
8.     Government servants who have office cars to pick and drop
 
9.     Those who have their workplace either in their homes or close by
 
10.  Those who do have a car but never travel on them and always take public transport for economic reasons.
 
I will also praise the Odd Even Plan. I will do it the moment I am able to beat it. You will get yet another admirer of your plan.
 
Even if OEP does not give any tangible gain, no reduction in pollution, no structural change in Delhi Traffic, your this populist measure gets you a lot of political mileage. Just like all other populist measures you have literally milked the Delhi’s Environment to raise your stock among your voters (wonder where you were when the Art of Living was raping the Yamuna banks against the NGT order).
 
Your odd even plan is a work of genius. I don’t know if others also see it or not but I can see it.
 
1.     Your constituency of hawkers, three wheeler walas, illegal colonies walas, slum-dwellers, all are happy. Now they have easier access to do whatever they want to do on the roads. And get more customers too. Free Water, Free Electricity and now more free roads and more business.
 
2.     All those who do not oppose OEP by default get labeled as your fans and supporters.     
 
3.     The compliance of the OEP, despite being suspect, is masterfully exploited. If there are very many police challans then the system is working efficiently and government is working hard to make it successful. If the challans are very less in numbers then people are abiding by the OEP and government policy is a success. It is a double whammy. Even if people are flouting the OEP, it is successful.
 
4.     As there is no true measure of its success whatever the government says becomes the reigning myth which no body is really interested to break.
 
So after getting no tangible benefit from this program (The Central Pollution Control Board has already informed this to National Green Tribunal) and also suffering badly at the ramshackle traffic systems and transportation I realized that I should also become an ardent supporter of your odd even program after I have devised how to beat your this foolhardy and politically motivated populist bandobast.
 
And if by any chance your basic intention is to reduce the congestion on the roads whether it helps the environment or not then apart from removing odd and even cars on alternate days you can take the following measures too.
 
1.     Extend odd even for all 30 days of the month.  Why torture Delhi with the congestion for 15 days every month.   
 
2.     By the logic of the measure taken by your government, you will eventually be forced to extend the ban on all that which looks like congestion - Trucks, buses, scooters and motorcycles, may be cycles and even people. Truly the whole of India is a very congested place. Honestly. Need to do something about it.
 
3.     Why Delhi is congested only on the roads. Every slum and markets like Chandni Chowk, Chawdi Bazar, Lajpat Nagar etc. are more congested. Will you agree that congestion is the main reason for Shiv Sena seeking ban on immigrant Biharis?
 
I am not alone to think like this. There are thousands who have already given surge to old car sales market increasing the sale by 300 percent. The conversion to CNG for a price is on the meteoric rise not because people have overnight become environment conscious but because they would only use the certificate for bye- passing this odd even. Rest assured Kejriwal Ji, if you persist with your odd even formula every other fortnight you will someday find that the number of odd or even cars separately will be more than the combined number of cars we have in Delhi today. I hope we all would have learnt our lesson then.
 
Please do not blame other political parties for plotting to fail your brain child OEP. This program will fail because of its internal anomaly. Please learn it from the world over experiences.
 
Effective governance is not cheap, readymade solutions but a holistic blueprint which can see the impact of a measure in long term perspective. And your administration is not capable of giving such solutions. Please do not consider this as a political diatribe against your party by some vested interest. None of the governments have the capability and intent to conceive a holistic solution for any of the problems we have today.
 
Yours Truly
 
A tired citizen            
 
 
 
(image courtesy: http://goo.gl/Q7cYIO)                                                                                                                            

The views expressed here are those of the authors and doesn’t reflect the official policy of Janpratinidhi. The views expressed here are those of the authors and doesn’t reflect the official policy of Janpratinidhi.
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