Delhi: Transport sector

From Indpaedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hindi English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.


Buses/ Delhi Transport Corporation

2010 to 2015: Irregularities and loss of 5,022 crore

The Times of India, Jun 14 2016

In just 5 years, DTC lost Rs 5,000 crore: CAG

The audit of Delhi Transport Corporation by CAG comes as an eyeopener, especially after it was lauded for its work during the two rounds of odd-even scheme. The CAG report, which spans over the financial years from 2010 to 2015, list many irregularities with the biggest being the loss of Rs 5,022.05 crore on operations. The reason is DTC's refusal to rationalise its bus routes and inefficient route planning. DTC was operating 574 out of 791 routes as on March 31, 2015. “Comparing the earning per km (EPK) with total operating cost per km, the audit observed that not one of these routes was profitable and many of them were not recovering even the variable cost (excluding employee cost, depreciation, etc),“ said the report. As a result, DTC suffered a loss of Rs 5,022.05 crore on operations during 2010-2015.

“The management stated (February , 2016) that the buses were allocated on a route based on its income and passenger load factor. The reply is not tenable as the corporation was not compiling any route-wise income and expenditure data,“ the report added.

The corporation also did not carry out a periodical review of its routes for optimising revenue, even though many of them were not recovering even the variable cost that increased from 15.24% to 63.80% during 2010-2015. This is despite the fact that Delhi government had ordered a route rationalisation report by DIMTS.

The transport department's decision to allow cluster buses, via DIMTS, to operate on more profitable routes in greater numbers than that agreed upon added to DTC's mounting losses.

The CAG report said, “The audit observed that deployment of buses between DTC and cluster buses on 13 routes with comparatively higher earning per kilometre was not in accordance with agreed ratio of 50:50.“ The auditor found that 7.14% to 28.57% trips were allocated to cluster buses in excess of the agreed share.

“The corporation pointed out the deficiency to the transport department on seven routes. The department of transport had not taken action till date to enforce the agreed proportion of buses,“ said the report, adding that the failure to ensure adherence to the agreed 50:50 ratio “adversely impacted“ the revenue earning potential of DTC and impacted its financial interest.

A list of other deficiencies that led to losses include missed kilometres, which went up over the past five years. “Ratio of trips operated by corporation buses against trips scheduled increased from 79.13% in 2010-11 to 85.76% in 2011-12, but decreased to 80.33% in 2014-15,“ said the report. Interestingly , 1,888 buses of 34 de pots were challaned and impounded for 3,831 days during 2010-15 resulting in 7.38 lakh km being missed and Rs 1.29 crore revenue being lost.

The rate of breakdowns per 10,000km went up during the same period, from 1.77 in 2010-11 to 5.35 in 2014-15. A total of 67 fire incidents in buses also took place.

DTC also lost out on funds worth Rs 204.57 crore under JNNURM for procurement of buses as it couldn't buy them, even though it had the funds.Further, the fleet utilisation and vehicle productivity was less than all-India averages.

2012> 2016: 35% decrease in ridership

In 4 years, DTC lost 17 lakh commuters, December 13, 2017: The Times of India

See graphic:

2012- 2016, 35% decrease in ridership of DTC

CSE Study Says Fleet To Empty Out By 2025

DTC has suffered a staggering 35% dip in ridership in the four years between 2012 and 2016. This has been revealed by a report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

From 47 lakh daily passengers in 2012-13 to 30 lakh in 2016, the corporation has seen a decline of 17 lakh passengers. The report also says that the figure of 30 lakh could be overestimation too.

The report also says that without any new buses coming since 2010-11, by 2025 there would be no buses left in the DTC fleet if force multipliers aren’t brought in on a “war footing”. Delhi needs, says the study, up to 11,000 buses right now and would need 15,000 by 2021. Right now, Delhi has only 5,842 buses.

“This is unacceptable, especially at a time when travel demand and pollution problems are exploding in the city. If this is not acknowledged and resolved immediately to stem the tide, it will lead to gradual destruction of the system, increase dependence on personal vehicles and make the problem of pollution and congestion irreversible,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE.

The report says Delhi would have to reinvent the bus system if it has to meet the master plan target of 80% share of public transport ridership by 2020.

About 16 lakh (55%) passengers use passes. “A pass holder is counted as travelling nine times during the course of a single day and that inflates the daily trip number. It is possible therefore that DTC’s daily ridership is much less,” the report said.

A major reason for the dip in DTC’s footfall is its poor frequency and unreliability. Less than 1% of DTC routes have a frequency of one bus every five minutes; less than 25% have a frequency of one bus every 15 minutes. In most of the routes, the waiting time is much longer, the report says.

Nationally, DTC’s fleet utilisation is one of the poorest at only 83.63% and almost 700 buses on any given day are not used, almost 50% of which are due to breakdowns. The buses not being used daily are more than the entire fleet size of cities such as Jaipur, the report says.

But the cluster buses are performing better. Even the bus aggregator scheme has also showed stunning results—42% of those who drive, 15% of those who share rides, and 30% of metro users have shifted to it.

The report recommends that parking for buses should be earmarked and construction of multilevel parking lots for them be expedited.

DTC pays almost Rs 100/ km as interest on government loans that makes its operational cost almost Rs 180/km. It recovers only Rs 40/km from all sources.

Losses, 2013-19

DTC’s working losses, 2013-19
From: Sidhartha Roy, Dec 3, 2019 Times of India

See graphic:

DTC’s working losses, 2013-19

December 2016, 5,000 missed trips/ day due to congestion, encroachments

DTC loses ₹9 crore a month due to congestion, December 18, 2017: The Times of India

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) loses around 5,000 trips every day due to congestion and encroachments on roads, leading to a monthly loss of about Rs 9 crore.

The city’s public transporter has been under fire from different quarters over its depleting fleet of buses and operational inefficiency.

“We lose 5,000 of the scheduled 38,000 trips per day because our buses get stuck in traffic jams due to congestion and encroachments on the city roads,” said a senior transport corporation official.

The financially ailing transport body runs a fleet of around 3,800 buses in the national capital.

“The daily earnings of DTC comes to around Rs 2.5 crore. We incur a loss of Rs 30 lakh per day due to the missed trips,” the official added.

There are many roads in the city, where heavy encroachment forces the buses to crawl, and waste time and fuel, thus affecting the operational costs, he said.

“Most parts of Trans-Yamuna like Shahdara, Silampur and border areas like Kapashera and Nangloi are heavily congested due to unauthorised encroachments,” the official said.

The transport corporation is working on procurement of 1,000 more buses to boost its fleet. However, the authorities also need to work on the problem of encroachments on roads to make the buses run smoothly, he added. PTI

DTC is working on procurement of 1,000 more buses. Authorities need to work on the problem of encroachments on roads to make the buses run smoothly, said a DTC official

Public and other transport


The Times of India, Aug 13 2015

Some facts, Vehicles in Delhi: 1980-2014 and tax on vehicles; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India

Rumu Banerjee

Buses have ceded road space to private cars, which are not a part of public transport, in the capital. With their big carrying capacity, buses are the ideal mode for big cities. Metro has its limitations. Delhi has neglected its bus fleet over the years and needs to expand it urgently The number of buses in Delhi has decreased over the years. In the 1980s, there were 57 buses for every one lakh Delhiites. By 2007-08 the figure had fallen to 34, and today it stands at just 25. In itself, the numerical slide should imply the streets are freer. But what it indicates instead is the decline of a reliable public transport system ­ and the clogging of roads by private vehicles. Till only a few decades ago, public transport ­ mainly buses ­ comprised 60% of the traffic. It is the other way now ­ private cars make up 60% of vehicular population today . There are fewer buses of the state-run Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), the city's emblematic public transporter, on the roads. The DTC fleet has come down from a high of 5,600 buses in 2012 to 4,705 now after the scrap ping of many aged machines. No new buses have been added to the fleet in the past two years. Four years ago, the government also opened up public transport to private operators in a bid to ease DTC's workload. But of the targeted 4,000 such buses, there are only 1,465 of them running on the streets, their expansion hampered by the lack of parking depots.

Experts point out that the increasing congestion on the capital's roads stems partly from buses ceding road space to private cars.“Congestion is not a problem, it is only a symptom of a problem,“ says Amit Bhatt of Embarq, a transport planning body . Anumita Roy Chowdhury of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) adds, “The fact that we are talking about congestion means that the critical phase is here. Action needs to be taken immediately .“ It isn't as if the government doesn't agree. A committee set up by the ministry of urban development last year decided that Delhi would be provided with not only more buses, but also 124 km of special bus corridors and 140 km of new roads, flyovers and elevated corridors.

However, experts such as Roychowdhury and Shreya Gadepalli of the Insitute for Transport and Development Policy caution against a focus on road infrastructure. Gadepalli points out that Delhi already has more street space per capita than any other Indian city and characterises the laying of more roads as “a futile attempt to fulfil the insatiable demand for car-oriented infrastructure“. “The real solution,“ she says, “is better public transport and stringent measures to control personal motor vehicle use.“

With a daily ridership of 45 lakh commuters, DTC's reach is huge. Yet, inefficiencies in the system as well as the government's refusal to bolster its fleet have meant that the bus system remains unreliable.The government's refusal to rationalise the bus routes is another bottleneck. DTC buses make 40,000 trips every day over two shifts, while private cluster buses do around 13,000.The bus routes are decided randomly, based on commuter requests and political instruc tions rather than scientific ground survey inputs.

The gov ernment's attention, however, has been on building roads and flyovers, on which it spends 82% of its transport budget. Diverting funds towards improving the bus system would be a big step forward. “The biggest advantage of buses is their capacity to carry a larger number of commuters in a safe environment,“ points out RS Minhas, spokesman for DTC.

Of course, the burden of the bus network has been eased by the Delhi Metro. It takes care of the transport needs of 27 lakh commuters every day, and by the time Phase IV of its expansion is completed in 2021, it is expected to have a ridership of over 40 lakh. However, transport planners say that the reach of the Metro is limited.While metro systems are effective in carrying passengers over long distances, they lose their edge when it comes to shorter trips, those that form a major part of the daily travel needs of citizens.

The only way forward in such a situation is to boost the bus sys tem. “Buy 11,200 buses and 4,700 mini-buses, build 620 km of bus corridors and provide seamless integration between the bus sys tem and the Metro,“ prescribes Gadepalli. Augment this by increasing bus frequency, creating common ticketing, and boosting the passenger information service and bus performance monitoring, adds Roychowdhury .In addition, the government should create footpaths and cycle tracks along the arterial street network to ensure that by the time the Metro network is completed, almost every locality in the capital is within 400 meters of some station or bus stop. It is this that can significantly reduce the capital's dependence on private cars.

2007-15: Public transport in Delhi

The Times of India, Dec 10 2015

Automobiles/ transport in Delhi, 2010-15; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, December 10, 2015

Ambika Pandit

Capital's public transport losing battle of attrition

The Delhi Statistical Handbook 2015 released by the state government shows a lack of focus on public transport. Now that the government wants to try out its odd-even formula for private vehicles, the latest report shows just how prepared the state is for the exercise. In 2007-08, Delhi had 17, 29, 695 registered cars and jeeps.Cut to 2014-15 and the figure is 27, 90, 566. The total number of new vehicles registered increased from 5.19 lakhs in 2013-14 to 5.34 lakhs in 2014-15, taking the total number of registered cars in the capital to 88.27 lakhs.

The two-wheeler count went up as well. In 2010-11, there were 43, 42, 403 registered two-wheelers in the city; in 2014-15, the figure rose to 56, 81, 265. Public transport, on the other hand, has seen a steady decline. A look at the total bus data (including ambulances and mini buses) shows that in 2011-12, there were 64, 033 buses; in 2012-13, the number fell o 39, 694. A year later, there was marginal improvement when the figure went up to 40,947. But in 2014-15, it plummeted to 32, 540.

The data shows how the authorities made poor plans. In 2013-14, there were 5,216 DTC buses of which 4,567 were functional; in 2014-15, the numbers dropped to 4,705 and 4,180 respectively . Passenger numbers also dropped: 14,187.28 lakh in 2014-15 from 15,867.61lakh in 2013-14.

The handbook doesn't account for Metro ridership, but it can be surmised that with bus ridership going down, there were more takers for the Metro and many preferred to use their own cars.

Even autorickshaw numbers declined from 91, 840 in 2013-14 to 81, 633 in 2014-15. But taxis went up to 79, 606 in 2014 5 from 57, 958 in 2010-11.

Taxis in Delhi

The Times of India, Sep 14, 2017

In 2010, the number of taxis including app-based cabs -in the capital stood at 57,958.This number went up further to 70,335 in 2012-13. In 2013-14, Delhi had 78,686 registered taxis, according to the Delhi Statistical Handbook 2014.

Ola, Uber operating illegally

The Times of India, Apr 24 2016

App based cabs in Delhi, 2014-16; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Apr 24 2016

Sana Shakil

Ola & Uber operating taxis illegally, Delhi govt tells HC

Cab aggregators Ola and Uber are operating “illegally“ in the city, the government told the Delhi high court on Saturday. It assured the court that action against such cabs was being taken by its transport department and that Delhi Police too had been asked to stop the “illegal operations“ of these “unlicensed“ aggregators. The government was responding to a notice from the court on “overcharging“ by these operators.

Uber and Ola had suspended surge pricing in the city earlier this week after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal warned of strict action against the cabs in a series of tweets. This led to a shortage of cabs in the midst of the second phase of odd-even, inconveniencing commuters.

The Delhi government's transport department said in its affidavit: “The alleged unlicensed aggregators, namely Ola and Uber, are operating illegally as their applications for a licence were rejected...vide order dated June 28, 2015.“ Not only are the appbased companies unlicensed but they are al so not allowed to charge more than the prescribed rates of fare in the shape of `surge price' or `peak time charge' and punitive action is being taken against the violators...“

said the affidavit submitted by the transport department in the Delhi high court.

The government's response came on a plea filed by Magic Sewa Pvt Ltd, which has alleged that the unlicensed taxi aggregators “have been disdainfully violating“ the government's notification on fares by charging very low amounts like Rs 5 per kilometre or going as high as Rs 38 per km. The government had on April 18 faced the ire of the court which said they cannot “wash their hands of “ alleged overcharging by operators like Uber and Ola as the “general public was suffering“. The high court had asked the government what it was planning to do to regulate the taxi operators and stop such practices.

Kejriwal had posted a series of tweets that very day , promising action against taxis for charging high fares. This was followed up by a notice from the transport department to the app-based cabs, spelling out the various taxi schemes and the fares that could be charged by them. Within a few hours, Uber and Ola suspended surge pricing temporarily .

The government has told the high court that it had introduced a scheme, `City Taxi Scheme 2015', through a notification dated August 26, 2015, to regulate autorickshaws and taxi services in the capital.This has no provision for a `peak time charge' or `surge prices', it said, but the two cab companies just didn't want to abide by rules and have, therefore, not applied for licence under the scheme. “The appbased unlicensed taxi services are abusing the process of law to delay seeking the licences as the same would make them liable to follow rules and regulations formulated as per the `City Taxi Scheme 2015' and they are not willing to abide by the same,“ stated the affidavit.

Ring Rail

The Times of India, Jan 18 2016

The Delhi Ring Rail: Ridership and economics; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Jan 18 2016

Anvit Srivastava

Ring Rail, an idea gone off the track

The Ring Rail project appears to have been given a quiet burial. Blame it on the Metro, if you must, as with DMRC expanding its reach, the railways seems to be reluctant to revive the line for public use. Of course, there is the small matter of lack of lastmile connectivity and encroachments around the tracks. The average daily ridership comes to a measly 3,700, earning the exchequer somewhere in the vicinity of Rs 1 lakh and it's not tough to gauge why Ring Rail is dying a slow death. Ridership has continuously gone down over the years. Sample this: In 2013-14, the annual ridership on the route was 1.5 lakh passengers.This came down sharply to 1.2 lakh in 2014-15.

Railway officials contend that the route has already crossed its capacity utilisation--along with 10 EMUs, around 80 goods trains and three express trains run on this track. Sources said the city government, in December 2015, proposed that a committee be formed to look into the Ring Rail revival. Till date, it's yet to receive a single proposal.

The corridor was developed with the express objective of diverting heavy freight traffic entering the New Delhi station line during peak hours. While the route definitely shares a huge freight burden, it has failed on the passenger service front. “There is no scope of increasing traffic on the line. Every day, five trains each run in the morning and the evening.With the decline in number of passengers, the route is already running under loss. At present, there are no plans for expansion,“ said Arun Arora, divisional railway manager of Delhi division, Northern Railways.

The third phase of Delhi Metro, connecting Mayur Vi har, Lajpat Nagar, Dhaula Kuan and Rajouri Garden, may result in further decline in ridership, Arora said.

The route is also used for five special trains -Palace on Wheels, Maharaja Express, Deccan Odyssey , Buddhist Special train and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels -which originate and terminate at Safdarjung station.

“Deserted locations, badly maintained platforms, encroachments, poor safety measures and lack of last-mile connectivity are keeping passengers away ,“ conceded Arora. The single-line, diesel-hauled service on Ring Railway route was introduced on October 2, 1975. Seven years later, the double line with electric traction was put into motion. Twenty-four trains were added during the Asian Games.

The 35.36km stretch connects 21 stations, including 12 halts and nine block stations.These include Lajpat Nagar, Lodi Colony , Sarojini Nagar, Safdarjung, Chanakyapuri, Patel Nagar, Nizamuddin and Pragati Maidan.

Transportation (general issues)

Survey for suggestions to improve public transport

Nidhi Sharma | TNN

This article was published around 2008

Govt wants to know why you shun buses

Delhi government is all set to conduct the firstever survey in Delhi and NCR to ask people using personal vehicles for suggestions to improve public transport and make it attractive enough for them to leave their cars at home and switch over.

The government would ask owners of private cars driving into Delhi to give inputs on the bus system and the Metro. They would be asked for suggestions on types of seating, kind of buses and Metro routes that could be introduced. There has been an exponential growth in the number of vehicles in the Capital. The maximum increase has been registered in the number of personal vehicles, especially cars and jeeps. The number of vehicles have increased from 26.30 lakh in 1995-96 to 48.30 in 2005-06, at an annual compound growth rate of 5.84%. Decennial growth rate is substantially higher in case of private vehicles (91.62%) as compared to commercial vehicles (6.67%).

In case of private vehicles, cars and jeeps have registered a decennial growth rate of 130.18%, which is the highest among all the categories of vehicles followed by two-wheelers (bikes and scooters) with 76.85%. Seeing this, the Union UD ministry has written to Delhi chief secretary, Ramesh Narayanaswami, directing him to get a survey conducted and develop proposals ‘‘for expanding and strengthening the public transport system’’.

Sources said the chief secretary has asked Delhi government’s principal secretary (UD) to get a survey conducted. Apart from this, the transport department has also been asked to develop a web-enabled information system. This would provide all public transport options between two points in the city to the commuter. This would have an integrated interface on Metro lines, bus routes, timings of buses and station information.

The ministry is looking at expanding the public transport as the only solution for reducing traffic congestion. Transport experts feel that rather than constructing more flyovers for increasing speed of cars, government should strengthen the public transport so that more people prefer it over personal cars. Dr Geetam Tiwari of IIT Delhi’s Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Programme said: ‘‘Government should expand the bus service. With more and better buses, the people would switch over to the public transport and the traffic congestion situation would improve.’’

Usage of Public Transport in Delhi

Usage of Public Transport in Delhi/ 2018

Ritam Halder, July 9, 2019: The Times of India

The Usage of Public Transport in Delhi, presumably as in 2018
From: Ritam Halder, July 9, 2019: The Times of India

Transport contributes massively to Delhi’s air pollution. A study by SAFAR-India (2018) said that almost 40% of PM2.5 in Delhi is due to vehicles. A 2018 study by the Centre for Science and Environment, titled Urban Commute, revealed that the capital fares the worst in the country in terms of pollution, carbon emissions and energy consumption in urban commuting.

Delhi has 17 buses for every lakh people to Beijing’s 107

Ritam Halder & Jasjeev Gandhiok, July 9, 2019: The Times of India

Delhi has only 17 buses for every lakh people in contrast to Beijing, which has 107. This was pointed out by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority in a report submitted to the apex court, while noting that without augmenting public transport system, Delhi would not be able to combat air pollution.

The EPCA report added, “What is also alarming is that these buses are rapidly aging — all of DTC’s current 3,600 buses are over eight years of age and will be required to be phased out within the next few years.”

Delhi government has submitted affidavits to the Supreme Court on its proposals to induct new buses in the city. EPCA has reviewed the progress on this and found it “still unsatisfactory”. “At the current rate, induction of the buses would not keep up with the requirement of buses or the speed of replacement that is needed,” the report stated.

Amit Bhatt, director, Integrated Urban Transport, WRI India, was clear that alongside cutting procurement time, a focus on quality was also needed. “A dedicated user will use a bus no matter what its quality because he wants to save on money. A choice user will require an incentive to shift from his personal vehicle and that is where quality buses are important,” said Bhatt.

According to Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director, CSE, Delhi Metro alone would not be able to meet the travel demands of Delhi. “The public bus transport system needs to be revived and reformed to meet the demand,” said Chowdhury. A 2018 study by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System said that with route rationalisation, the city required 11,500 buses, among them 9,195 conventional size buses 1,481 midi buses and 824 mini buses. Against this projection, the city only has 5,279 buses.

Vehicular population in Delhi


Brakes on odd-even as NGT rejects exemptions, November 12, 2017: The Times of India

See graphic, 'The number of vehicles registered in Delhi till Dec 2016 (private cars, taxis, auto-rickshaws, two-wheelers, buses)'

The number of vehicles registered in Delhi till Dec 2016 (private cars, taxis, auto-rickshaws, two-wheelers, buses)
From Brakes on odd-even as NGT rejects exemptions, November 12, 2017: The Times of India

Improved Air Quality Makes It Easier For Govt

New Delhi: The much anticipated odd-even traffic plan announced for November was on and off. The National Green Tribunal, having first questioned the need for implementing the scheme, hauled Delhi government over the coals before giving its nod with the rider that there won’t be any exemptions for women, two-wheeler riders and government officials.

The Delhi cabinet met and reached a consensus that given the load it would put on the transport system and pose a threat to women’s security, it would not be feasible to go ahead. So, pending an appeal to NGT on Monday for the exemptions to be restored, the government put the scheme on hold. The cabinet meeting, held at CM Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, was faced with the fact that without the exemptions, the public transport would have to bear an additional load of at least 30 lakh people.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is already running at maximum capacity -- 3,317 train trips a day – and carries about 27 lakh passengers daily. Though DMRC didn’t reveal its maximum carrying capacity, officials said an additional load of 30 lakh commuters was impossible to accommodate.

The government’s decision to scrap the scheme was helped by the fact that the PM 10 and PM 2.5 levels had fallen to 455 micrograms per cubic metre and 299 micrograms per cubic metre in the morning, under the limit of 500 and 300 that needs to be crossed under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and stay there for 48 hours for odd-even and a host of “emergency” measures to kick in. By the afternoon, the figures had further gone down to 412 and 248, respectively. But by evening, the levels were up again — 522 and 332 — because of a drop in both minimum and maximum temperatures. However, experts said this was episodic and the situation will improve.

The city’s bus fleet has suffered the ravages of time without any additions and is now severely depleted. Compared to the need for at least 11,000 buses, there are only about 5,500 buses run by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and the ones under the cluster scheme of Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS). DTC had arranged 500 extra private buses for the duration of the scheme and DMRC had to arrange 100 mini buses. “The number of buses that would have been available during the odd-even scheme is not totally adequate even for the present demand. Accommodating 30 lakh more passengers would mean procuring at least 3,000 more buses, which is not possible at such a short notice,” said a DTC official.

“We respect the honourable NGT’s order and are happy that we could convince it that odd-even is a formula that could reduce pollution to an extent,” transport minister Kailash Gahlot told reporters. However, the conditions imposed by NGT of not exempting women and two-wheelers is difficult to implement, said Gahlot. “There are 60 lakh twowheelers in Delhi and only half of that, 30 lakh, will be on the road during odd-even,” he explained, adding that public transport in the city didn’t have the strength to carry these commuters.

Equally worrisome for the government was the fact that women had been denied exemption. “Women’s safety and security is an important issue and the government is very concerned about it. We can’t take the risk,” said Gahlot. “On Monday we are going back to NGT with the request that it should reconsider its decision not to exempt twowheelers and women.”

Aam Aadmi Party seconded the government’s decision. “Odd-even was not to satisfy anybody's ego. Women being vulnerable cannot be exposed to risks. The Delhi government cannot risk the safety of women during odd-even period. Will not implement odd-even without exemptions to women,” tweeted party's Delhi unit chief spokesperson, Saurabh Bharadwaj.

2016-17: diesel vs. cleaner fuels; types and number of vehicles

Diesel use down by 16%, Delhi used cleaner fuels more in 2016, December 31, 2017: The Times of India

Number of vehicles in 2016-17; consumption of petrol, diesel and CNG, 2017
From: Diesel use down by 16%, Delhi used cleaner fuels more in 2016, December 31, 2017: The Times of India

The capital, dismally greyed by severe pollution this year, had something tosmile about at thefagend of the year when itbecame clear that the consumption of diesel, emissions of which are more harmful than petrol, had fallen 16% this year compared with that in 2015-16.

The trend was revealed in the Delhi Statistical Hand Book for 2017, released by Delhi government on Saturday. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia congratulated Delhiites for their reduced dependency on diesel, which hecharacterised as an indication of the growing awareness in the city about air pollution.

The consumption of diesel in Delhi went down from 15,08,000 tonnes in 2015-16 to 12,67,000 tonnes in 2016-17. In the same period, petrol use increased marginally from 9,02,000 tonnes to 9,06,000 tonnes. The consumption of CNG, a cleaner fuel, rose 8.5%, from 738,000 tonnes to 804,000 tonnes.

Transport and automobile experts, however, opined that awareness about pollution was not the only reason for shunning diesel. The tax on diesel vehicles and the narrowing price gap between petrol and diesel were also contributing factors. “Diesel vehicles are being phased out. Also consumers don’t find diesel vehicles worth buying with the price difference, which was Rs 18-20 not so long ago coming down now to Rs 10-12,” said automobile expert Anil Chhikara.

Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, Research, Centre for Science and Environment, said it was a good sign that the last couple of years have seen an energy transition. Pointing out how the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal discourage diesel use by levying an environment cess and disallowing diesel vehicles more than 10 years old from plying in Delhi, she added, “There is also growing consumer awareness and all these have contributed to the trend.”

Roychowdhury explained that diesel emissions not only increased pollutants in the air but was a Class 1 carcinogen, capable of causing lung cancer.

“People are wary about buying diesel cars because they know they cannot use them for more than 10 years,” offered Professor P K Sarkar, director (transport), Asian Institute of Transport Development. “Petrol vehicles now provide better mileage than earlier.”

In 2016-17, Delhi saw the number of registered motor vehicles crossing the one crore mark. The total number of new vehicles registered in Delhi was 7.78 lakh in 2016-17, which included 29,690 e-rickshaws that were registered for the first time even though their actual number is more than one lakh in the city.

While two wheelers saw higher growth in the capital compared with cars, the number of taxis registeredin thecity went up by more than 50%. This might also explain the rise in CNG consumption as it is mandatory to run commercial vehicleson theclean fuel.

In 2016-17, Delhi Transport Corporation bus services were availed of by 31.55 lakh average daily passengers, the statistical handbook revealed. The total strengthof DTC’s fleet stood at 4,027, of which 1,275 buses were air conditioned. The number of buses on the road, however, was lesser at 3,547. The number of reported road accidents also decreased from 8,085 in 2015 to 7,375 during 2016.

The tax on diesel vehicles and the narrowing price gap between petrol and diesel were also contributing factors, for shunning diesel, said transport and automobile experts

See also

Air pollution: Delhi

Delhi: traffic and road accidents

Delhi: Transport sector

Road accidents: India

Personal tools