December 29, 2015: Motorists in Delhi can take comfort in the fact that residents in other major cities in the world are also having to sacrifice their desire to drive to work on all days in the interests of ensuring a healthy environment.
Authorities in Milan, Italy, for instance, ordered private cars off the city’s roads between 10 am and 4 pm for the first three days of this week in a bid to reduce smog. The public transit system is also offering hefty discounts to attract motorists, and regular car lanes have been converted into bike lanes, encouraging commuters to cycle to work.
Of course, unlike in India, the rules are being strictly adhered to by motorists in Europe’s fashion capital; those ignoring the prohibition face heavy fines.
Anti-pollution activists around the globe note that even temporary measures to impose restrictions on the use of cars helps reduce smog levels. Such experiments have been conducted in cities such as Oslo and Beijing.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi has introduced a system of odd-even dates for taking out cars beginning January 1. The restrictions will be in force till January 15. But unlike in thinly-populated European cities such as Milan, the public transport system is already over-burdened and most motorists are unlikely to use the metro or buses.