Delhi's number plate move evokes reaction among Beijingers

Delhi's number plate move evokes reaction among Beijingers
As the Delhi Government unveiled radical plans to fight air pollution by allowing odd and even number plate cars to ply only on alternate days, residents in the Chinese capital which already had the similar system gave a mixed reaction to this move.

Delhi's move resonated well with a number of people PTI spoke here for its effective way to reduce pollution but with unanimous impression that it can be convenient to people only when it is backed by efficient public transport system.

With a population of 21 million, Beijing which has gone to the extent of banning the sale of the new cars to bring down the pollution levels, imposed odd and even number plate system since 2008 Olympics but only periodically during high profile events.

Besides the Olympics and para-olympics, it was resorted to two other times, during the APEC leaders summit last year and this year's anti-fascist military parade.

Currently, Beijing is struggling to control the traffic with two number system under which number plate ending with certain numbers is banned one day of the week.

Also the city has already restricted the car sales since 2011 by issuing around 20,000 car plates in auction every month.

According to five-year clean air action plan (2013-2017) the total number of vehicles in the city will be restricted to around six million by the end of 2017. Currently the city has over 5.5 million cars.

Any government which wants to restrict the cars on the roads should be sure to have an effective public transport system like well connected metro and bus systems without which people will suffer, Zhou Xujun, a senior journalist said in reaction to the recent move by Delhi Government to implement the alternate days concept.

"I feel odd-even cars number ban is a good idea. Due to increasing noise and air pollution in big city like Beijing it is really important to take such measures to control it", Wang Liyl, who works in the private sector said.

Another commuter Yuquan, said "imposing odd-even car ban created troublesome situations to car owners at times, specially during emergencies and when one wanted to rush to be in time for an event."

"I believe there is need to come up with a new idea to deal with traffic and air pollution," Yuquan said.

While imposing the restrictions, Beijing made fervent efforts to increase and improve the public transport system, specially the metro system which is one of the world largest.

Beijing metro currently has about 18 metro lines stretching up to 527 kms touching 319 stations. It is the world's busiest in annual ridership, with 3.41 billion trips delivered in 2014.

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