Can the ‘Odd-Even Car Rule’ be an answer to Shillong’s Traffic woes?


The latest announcement by the Delhi Government to cut down traffic volumes by implementing the 'Odd-Even' car rule has met with mixed feedback. This includes personal vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers to ply on alternate days from January 1, 2016 – in other words, allowing only half of the existing fleet to operate in a day.

Can this be a good alternative for a smaller town like Shillong which is facing the torment of traffic jams like none other? It might sound fake but there are times during school hours when the little strip from Laitumkhrah to Dhankheti might take upto 45 minutes to cover!

The interesting rule that might find implementation in New Delhi from 2016 might be a good alternative here. There however are questions raised and some good answers have been formulated as well.

"We should have the freedom of using our vehicles when we want to, the way we want to."

There is only so much the city can accommodate and cater to, and the limit has been breached far across and wide already. Shillong, with its narrow roads and beautiful cityscape is a home we need but don't deserve. Sorry to break it out to you Shillongites, but Shillong cannot cope with your 'status symbol' anymore.

"How is the traffic police going to spot someone disobeying the rule? Is it possible to monitor every number plate so closely?"

It's not rocket science. There could be a number of simple solutions to make sure the rule gets implemented easily. The number plates could be colour-coded for them to be easily identifiable as odd numbered or even. That could make monitoring defaulters as easy as spotting someone not wearing a seatbelt.

"What happens in case of a medical emergency? What happens if I drive out of the city late in the night and return the next day? Will I be fined for it?"

Every idea takes time to perfect. Cars could be excused for medical emergencies, say, 3 emergencies per vehicle. Or something more efficient. There will be issues that need to be dealt with, there will be some more unforeseen situations where this rule might fail but we need to realize that every rule gets modified with time and so shall this one.

"It's never going to happen. Nobody is going to follow it."

The rule hasn't even been implemented yet and people have already started devising ways to make it fail. It's disappointing to see how resistant the car owners in Delhi are to the one good change that has come our way in a long, long time – the one that's going to benefit them in the long run as much as those who don't own cars. We are the ones who govern whether the rule is a success or not. Do your part and things will fall into place.

"What if the higher income groups buy two cars – one for each day?"

That could be the case. But the higher income groups form only a small percentage of Shillong's population. The number of vehicles on the roads per day would still be much less.

(Inputs sourced from MensXP)