Sunday, December 6, 2015

An open letter to Kejriwal Ji and Delhites on odd-even day car rules

Just learnt that due to high court order about reducing pollution, Delhi Govt is planning to try an odd-even number formula for cars, means, Cars with odd/even number would ply on alternate days. All recent studies have indicated that in cities, major source of pollution is vehicles on roads and its no-brainer that we need to reduce number of vehicles on roads in order to reduce pollution. I live in Bangalore and it has 3-4 times more vehicles than its capacity. I think that Delhi is not any better.

My 10 year old kid coughs almost every night. I have heard that air-borne diseases are on rise. We may agree or disagree with this odd-even arrangement but we HAVE to agree that we collectively need to do something about air pollution. It is not just Govt's duty but it is us, our kids, parents, siblings, friends who are breathing harmful air every second. Its easy to criticize everything but lets understand the intent and take action now.

I do own a car and quite used to the convenience it offers. I have an odd number car and feel quite threatened that I cannot use it on even days. How do I reach my office on even days? I run a small business and travel a lot within city, how do I do that?  How do I drop my daughter to day-care everyday? What happens in an emergency etc etc? I see that there are many others who have raised similar questions and worried.

Many have taken it in humorous ways and lots of jokes, tweets are in the air. One such is below and I hope you get it.

odd-even number_delhi

Not sure, how Delhi Govt is going to implement it?  There are some concerns mentioned in this article on firstpost which seems to be valid. Our main purpose is to reduce pollution and traffic. If we reduce number of vehicles on roads than we reduce traffic, we reach faster, we consume less fuel, we are on roads for less time, we pollute less and we spend more time with family or at doing something productive and overall, economy/environment improves.  Can we reduce pollution and traffic using any other ways?

Long term solution would be population control, more public transport, more CNG vehicles, more metros, last mile connectivity with feeder mini buses, more over/under bridges, widening of roads, better town planning, etc but all these would take time/money and may be, we, mortals, dont have that much time and money to realize all above.

So, are there some better and immediately possible ways to do that?

Here, I would like to appreciate the effort put by Bengaluru Traffic Police who has started promoting carpooling quite aggressively. Do check their facebook page, twitter page and media coverage to understand more. They are supporting many apps who are enabling carpooling/bikepooling in safe and secure way. There has been so much happening in this space that we must take it seriously now. We can reduce 50% vehicles on roads if we just add one more person in the car or bike. However, people dont do it due to various factors but that's changing.

I started my carpooling initiative, RideAlly, almost 4 yrs back and it was a failure until recently. Many other startups are also struggling. We have added significant users in just last one month who have shown interest in carpooling and shared taxis. Many corporate are talking to us to enable carpooling/bikepooling for their employees.

Can Delhi Govt look at Carpooling and bring some legislation around carpooling so that people start doing it? Govt can take many steps to encourage carpooling, like, provide insurance for carpoolers, preferred parking, make it mandatory for organizations having more than 500 employees at one location, allow people to earn (tax free) from personal cars/bikes, promote/support apps who are enabling it, encourage taxis/autos to take more passengers and some incentives for them to do so etc.

Also, if Govt can bring some legislation with parking of cars than we can control vehicles on road big time. Except parking at home, rest all places should be governed by the parking legislation, such as,

1.  Free parking for cars which has min 3 people in the car at all public places, like, markets, hospital, Govt offices, airport, railway station etc
2. Clear instruction to all private place-owners for allowing free parking for cars with 3 or more persons, such as, Cinema halls, Tech Parks, Malls, Companies, etc.
3.  Heavy parking charges for single person occupancy cars, e.g. 100 Rs per hour. Even if they park in company premises, companies should be instructed to do so.

There are many more ways to reduce pollution however I'm sure that with carpooling/bikepooling and parking control, we can control it to large extent. Do share what do you think. Lets debate and take actions and do not rest till we and our next generations can at least breathe fresh air.

Regards, Hariprakash Agrawal, CEO,


  1. Very well written Hari and some nice ideas! I too 100% agree that we need some serious measures and probably not just one but several of them. So lets keep trying. If one idea fails bring another, do not stop as you said till we solve this.
    “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” – Charles Kettering

  2. Its a gr8 initiative. By doing carpooling we not only significantly reduce air pollution but also reduce noise pollution, save environment, reduce our daily life stress and also enhance our quality of life