Checking vehicle pollution: Kejriwal’s idea is even but style is odd
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has perhaps understood very well that supporters of an activist do not necessarily turn into constituencies when that activist choses to become a politician himself.
The latest episode in which his government took a fast decision of implementing an ‘even-odd formula' of vehicles plying on the streets of an utterly polluted Delhi only to be ridiculed on social media is a fresh example.
The idea was mostly ill-received so much so that the Aam Aadmi Party convenor took a step back within a day, saying the decision has been taken only in principle and if the people don't like it, the government would abandon the plan.
The Delhi CM's intention is genuine. May be the fact that he is young, popular and has a big majority in the Assembly encouraged him to take a drastic step in tune with many other cities of the world where vehicle pollution has reached alarming levels.
To decide that vehicles with odd and even numbers would ply on the city streets on alternate days is not an impractical solution as such but yet the plan faced flak on popular medium like Twitter.
It is unfortunate to see a popular leader like Kejriwal, even considered by many as an alternative to the tallest leader in the country at the moment Narendra Modi, received such a review when the intention was genuine to free Delhi of the deadly ambience. But why did this happen?
Kejriwal didn't do homework for his plan
The foremost cause is Kejriwal did little homework before announcing the drastic plan to take on Delhi's rising pollution.
May be he had expected that the Aam Aadmi would accept his proposal right away and the man would grab attention as one of the best administrators in the country.
But Kejriwal, who is still a novice in administration, did not put in place the alternative to the even-odd formula to take out vehicles on the road.
The very first alternative that Kejriwal should have thought is the state of public transport and the condition of women's safety in it.
Several women in the Capital would prefer personal vehicles over public transport, given the city's history of late. Just deploying a few thousand more buses would not be an enough solution to this problem, one believes, to make up for private vehicles.
The flip side ...
On the contradictory, the drastic implementation of the idea could see other illegal activities like driving/riding with false plates, paying bribes to policemen and more corruption in vehicle registration procedures piling up, putting Kejriwal's prime goal of uprooting corruption in disarray.
Could see more tussle with Delhi Police and Centre
Another problem that Kejriwal would have to address before embarking on the innovative mission is his government's relation with the Delhi Police. Given the magnitude of exercise the traffic police would have to undertake if the rule comes in, there is every possibility of chaos and confusion occurring which would ultimately see the AAP government locking horns with the Centre over the control of the police. A routine Kejriwal versus Modi fight will follow, pushing the actual cause to the side line.
Police & infrastructure problems need to be settled first
The police and infrastructure (installing CCTV cameras to pursue vehicles not supposed to be on the roads in tune with the even-odd rule) problems need to be settled first as it is in China and many Latin American countries before the Kejriwal government executes its innovative plan to check the Delhi pollution.
Focus can also be made on an effective carpooling policy so that the number of one-occupant vehicles can be reduced and enforce strict pollution norms.
Kejriwal has a knack of opting the unconventional route in public life. He is perhaps the first chief minister in the country who called himself an anarchist or slept on the roads while protesting against his own government (a West Bengal chief minister had also protested against his own government but did he sleep on the roads?).
The latest announcement on a unique traffic policy was also an effort to leave an unusual effect although it is unlikely to work out in the final count.
Kejriwal resembles Mamata
The AAP leader has a resemblance with his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee in this regard. The latter is also a leader who acts as per her instincts more than giving any subject a second thought. Such populist moves become popular in begin with slowly fades out in the long run.
Governance is not rocket but boomerang science
Arvind Kejriwal idea to clear Delhi's roads is even but the timing of expressing it was odd. The Delhi chief minister said at a leadership summit in Delhi on Saturday that governance is no rocket science.
That's for sure Mr Kejriwal. It's not rocket science.
Rather it's a boomerang science and you might have got a taste of it in the last few days.