Delhi traffic: At odds and evens

Dear Reader,

Hi! This article appeared under my column “Tweakonomics” in the Hindu Business Line today. You may like to see it at Else, read it here directly! Enjoy and do send in your comments!


Dunno if Delhi’s pollution will be controlled. But Delhi’s GDP is definitely set to go up as the Government will only allow even-and-odd numbered cars on alternate days. The multiplier effect will now explode, thereby creating jobs, employment, growth, and more number of cars for the Aam Admi, and a seriously good chance of getting re-elected for the Aam Admi Party. Ms. Sheila Dixit is ruing how she missed this bus, errrr, this passenger car.

Just look at the numbers. There are 260 lakh passenger cars registered in Delhi as of March 2015. In 2014-15, Delhiites added 1.8 lakh cars to their already enviable and unviable kitty. At least 15000 of these must have been bought by those on whom P. Chidambaram wistfully dreamt of levying the super rich tax. At least 3000 of these will now make a beeline to the nearest Audi/ BMW/ Mercedes-Benz showroom, trying to buy a car which hosts that super number so that one can manage to reach the workplace even at odd times. Another 2000 may settle for an odd City or even a Jetta. Car makers are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect.

Those not having the budgets or the parking spaces to buy a new car need not despair. A new range of services are being offered by roadside repair shops, which will now sell instant plate-change offerings. Due to heavy demand, the price of getting another number plate done has increased from Rs.1000 to Rs.5000. The casts and moulds industry is experiencing heavy demand to fabricate such insta-change car accessories.

Patanjali is thinking of seriously getting into the segment. The idea is that the one should be able to change the Patanjali number-plate in the 2 minutes in which the Patanjali noodles get cooked. Later, wash the hands with Patanjali soap and you are as good as new.

The demand for new cars and accessories will thus act as the ultimate growth driver, pushing Delhi’s growth rate to an unbelievable 20%. And that’s not all. For every new car manufactured, 7 more people get employed. All those poor crooks who used to surreptitiously paint cars and number plates after robberies will now get to legitimize their skilful profiles. Such a surge in employment was not seen in Delhi even during the good old days of the Commonwealth Games.

In all the merriment that ensued in the corridors after such cheerful thoughts, there came a more sobering, practical problem. How in the world will the Delhi Police, who stand steadfast in their duty at the traffic signal, read the number plates of those cars that zip through happily at 95 kmph? Visibility tests startlingly revealed that one can only read the numbers if the car passes at a more sedate pace of 25 kmph. Hence, in addition to the earlier even and odd guideline, the Delhi Government is now in the process of issuing a speed limit guideline as well. The number of cars will be halved and the time taken to office will be doubled.

Schools are thrilled to bits with the new pedagogy with which to make Maths more interesting. They have appealed to the Delhi Government to also have days when only composite or prime numbers will be allowed. One school has raised an RTI against the RTO demanding an explanation as to why number plates cannot be issued in all rational numbers on the number line and why only positive integers have been allowed so far. A case for fractions is also being fought. A divisive number game on irrational traffic integration. It’s the limit!




9 thoughts on “Delhi traffic: At odds and evens

  1. This is for the people Mam, and can only be made possible by the people themselves. I too was very conservative of the opinion of how this will be implemented, but its better for the society to face a little bit of difficulties while commuting than to suffer in an already overcrowded hospital.

    Also, speed limit detectors can be used to overcome the speed problem, and sending notices to the people involved, without any manual intervention. Lets see how the pilot phase kicks off

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Apoorv, I too am not against the idea per se. The really sad story of all metros in India is that the well off people do not use public transport. The day public transport stands revamped in its safety, convenience, cleanliness, pricing models and looks, a lot of our traffic issues will stand resolved. Like you, I am awaiting to see the implementation. And I really hope it works. 👍


    • And as per the idea goes i am very sceptical about its implementation and the only reason is population !!!! This idea by large seems to be copied from developed countries like france and others but the biggest concern is managing this on a large scale !!! Lets hope it works !! It will be very sad if this idea merely becomes a tool for rampant corruption and unfollowing of the law !!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Add the fractions, multiply the effect. Lets GO! he he he 😀
    As usual LIKE the article and LOVE the style of writing. 🙂

    I’m very skeptical of the idea. I have lived only in Bangalore and from the experience I can say that well-off people will never use the public transport till the time – there’s at least a breathing space inside the buses , safety from pocket cum mobile-chors, not to forget the gutka – tambaaku chewing – spitting community. They will always find a way to avoid public transport. People will take a leave but wont travel from public transport. ( As far as my knowledge from travels through the notoriously famous roads heading to Whitefield, Electronic City and the likes.)


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