Half-hearted odd-even vehicle policy fails to produce result for Jakarta
By Bharat Sharma
Jakarta, Aug 27 (PTI) Just like New Delhi, the half-hearted odd-even vehicle policy implemented in Jakarta to curb traffic and pollution during the ongoing Asian Games has failed to produce the desired results.
The pollution levels have come down but they are still below the safe standards and the partial implementation of the policy means it has not decongested the perennially choked streets here.
Cards with odd-numbers ply on odd days and vice versa on even days during rush hours (6 am to 9 pm) but only in parts of the metropolis. A 30km ride from the airport to the city centre today took one hour 30 minutes .
"There is little point of an odd-even policy like this. There is still traffic on the roads. In my view, the situation will only get worse unless there is a rule on the number of cars you can go buy," said a resident, who works close to the Gelora Bung Karno Complex, the main venue of the Asian Games.
The situation takes one back home in New Delhi where the government was criticised heavily to introduce odd-even rule in 2016.
The experts questioned the implementation of the move with so many exemptions. Taxis, cars with female drivers and two-wheelers were exempted from the scheme. It did ease traffic a bit but the pollution levels remained at alarming levels.
Therefore, it was not a surprise that the Delhi government withdrew the odd-even scheme in 2017 after two attempts in 2016. The National Green Tribunal too questioned the half-hearted step, resulting in a roll back.
Heavily congested cities like New Delhi and Jakarta can learn from city-state Singapore which has stopped adding to the number of cars already on the roads.
The state of affairs are worse in Delhi than Jakarta as the Indian capital remains one of the most polluted cities in the world.
Being stuck in traffic snarls has become a part of life but the silvering lining is that people don't resort to honking here and emergency lanes can be used in the 11th hour. That is not the case back home and that is a lesson Delhi can learn from Jakarta.
"The traffic is always bad here but people don't misuse the emergency lanes. It is meant for ambulance movement and at times for VIP movement, like the lanes right now are being used to ferry officials and athletes attending the Games," said a taxi driver of Blue Bird company