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Thanks Mr Kejriwal for making Delhi number 1! The number one city in lacking Quality of Life
We Delhiites should be thankful to our respected Chief Minister Mr Arvind Kejriwal as he has made our city Delhi number one. No, our city is not number one in terms of development nor is it number one in terms of a good trustworthy public transportation system or a decent healthcare infrastructure. Delhi only managed to become number one most polluted city in the world in November this year.

At least the CM Mr Kejriwal did fulfill his promise of making Delhi the number one city! Besides when did he ever say in which context he meant by number one? Arvind Kejriwal anyways has a lot of people to blame for his failures, so he should not have problems finding another scapegoat in this case as well. Air Quality Index measurements taken around the US embassy earlier in November this year showed Delhi at 999, while according to a CNN report even 500 is considered `Hazardous'.

While AAP government continues to spend large amounts of money on campaigning in Punjab, Delhi is being totally ignored. Money meant for the welfare of people is being wasted on promoting impractical schemes like the much publicised odd even rule. The second outing of the odd even rule exercised from April 15 to 30 this year met with luke-warm response from city residents. Traffic worsened during the second stint of odd even, as according to Delhi government's panel report, lakhs of private and CNG vehicles absent in the first phase made a comeback (the first phase happened when schools were closed and many people were away on new year holidays). As per available data air pollution rose by 23 per cent in the second phase of odd even.

Moreover, odd even is a much debatable solution for managing air pollution in Delhi as statistics seem to indicate. According to March 31, 2015 data provided by the Delhi Statistical Handbook 2015 (released on December 9, 2015), Delhi had 88.27 lakh registered vehicles, out of which four-wheelers that include cars, jeeps and taxis constituted just around 32 per cent of the total number of vehicles while two-wheelers (which are not banned during odd even) formed a whopping 64 per cent (almost double the number of four-wheelers) of the total number of registered vehicles plying on Delhi roads. Shockingly, according to a senior official of Delhi Transport Department there is no data available on how many vehicles remain off Delhi roads on any given day during odd even.

Categorically speaking, the Aam Aadmi Party government has to look beyond odd even for solutions like getting independent studies or surveys conducted by expert panel groups to find out the actual causes of air pollution in Delhi and to pinpoint the remedial measures that need to be enforced for cleaning Delhi's toxic air. Odd even is more of a gimmick, a publicity stunt of Arvind Kejriwal, rather than being an answer to the woes of Delhiites who are choking for breath.

The Kejriwal-led Delhi government has also failed in strengthening the tottering public transportation system in Delhi. Whether it's DTC buses or the Delhi Metro, both basic modes of transport are inadequate to cater to the large population of Delhi. The average ridership on Delhi Metro alone has been recorded at 32 lakh per day in the last three months. Without an adequate and robust public transportation system, people are compelled to use their private vehicles which leads to traffic congestions and further deterioration of air quality in the city.

To be honest, the AAP government of Delhi probably lacks the will or zest to improve the quality of life of the people of Delhi and rather choses to concentrate on gimmicks and publicity. In a recent report published in the Hindustan Times, the Delhi government kept sitting on a proposal sent by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for adding 916 new coaches for 6 months. And when the Delhi government did respond, it was not with an approval but rather with queries related to costs and estimated traffic.

As per DMRC officials the proposal file was sent to the Delhi government six months ago and the file returned only in October this year. A senior DMRC official said, "There has already been a cost escalation in these six months. Preparing fresh detailed project reports will at least take a month. We will only be able to place the order for 916 new coaches by next year. This means that crowding will continue till 2019."

Yes, Delhi Metro commuters are not expected to get any respite from overcrowded trains till 2019, that's another three years. Till date the Delhi CM has just added 2 new coaches across trains and now this delay in passing DMRC's latest proposal would escalate the costs of adding 916 coaches beyond the previous estimate of Rs 13,000 crore. In the past 5 years, Delhi Metro has seen an increase of 17.5 per cent in commuters each year but there is total lack of initiative from the Kejriwal government.

It's time Mr Arvind Kejriwal gave some serious answers and showed accountability instead of the usual practice of playing blame games.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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