Delhi restricts driving to battle smog

dehli bicycles india

In an attempt to reduce smog in the world’s most polluted city, Delhi began restricting driving on the New Year with odd/even license plate restrictions through January 15. Residents made do by using other forms of transportation, by cheating, and by gaming the system.

Those with vehicle registration plates ending in an even number may drive on even-number days, while those with odd number license tags may drive on odd-numbered days.

Although many highly ranked public servants are exempted from the driving restrictions, several officials made a point of riding their bicycles to the office on the first full workday of 2016. In spite of their good example, many people allegedly bought fake license plates to sidestep the bans. Wealthier people bought a second car with alternate numbers. Yay for prosperity!

india air quality

According to the World Health Organization, Delhi has the worst air on the planet, with particulate matter pollution exceeding even that of Beijing. The winter months are especially bad as people use warm their homes with wood stoves.

One comment

  • jarichmond
    January 5, 2016 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    I traveled to Delhi last winter, and even though I’d read about their pollution and been warned about the air quality, it was still absolutely shocking to see in person. You can even smell the problem; the air smells like wood smoke even indoors in a lot of places. Even the main terminal of the Delhi airport had a haze that apparently drifted in from outside.

    I have no doubt that the crushing traffic has a lot to do with the air quality, but another thing that really hurts them is that people will warm themselves in the winter with open fires all around the city. It gets surprisingly cold there in the winter, especially for people used to the really hot weather the rest of the year.

    Despite all that, Delhi was an amazing place to visit.

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