Delhi #OddEven

When I first heard about the Delhi Government’s plan to try out the #OddEven formula for vehicular traffic, the only thing that I thought of was that they want to try something and see what happens. This has to be the attitude of any governing body now in India, whether at State Level, City Level, Ward Level, etc.


Most people (as is the trend everywhere) became overnight experts on traffic management and the general consensus was that it will not work in a country like India or to get to more detail, a city like Delhi. I am no traffic management expert and for all you know, the Delhi #OddEven formula might not even work but let me get straight to the points that I wish to make here:

  • We are underestimating the common man in India. Overall, they are increasingly getting frustrated and worried about the state of affairs in India and I am quite confident that given a chance to make a difference, people will put their hands up. We may not see the overwhelming success or compliance that we wanted to but it will happen eventually.
  • Bad traffic and Bad environment, these are things that almost all of us are being hit with on a daily basis and previously we have thrown up our hands in despair saying that what can just one person do? This is changing slowly and the Delhi #OddEven is one test.
  • The Delhi #OddEven is not a test of the Arvind Kejriwal Government. It is a test of each one of us.
  • There can only be winners in this test and not losers. Winners because we tried it, we saw what happened, we will learn what could be done differently, we will use those the next time around to tune things and more.
  • We call ourselves a land that is mushrooming startup companies across all segments. What is the oft repeated mantra of startups? “Fail but fail fast”. It is disappointing to see that those who “claim” to live and breathe startups are the ones saying that the plan will fail before it even takes off.
  • Several Central Government ministers said that the plan will fail immediately. You are not doing your credibility any good by not even allowing an experiment for 15 days to see where it takes us. And people can see that the only reason you want to disseminate information that the plan will fail is about “politics”. We understand that and actually did not expect any other response.

The only way that I am seeing what is unfolding in Delhi via the #OddEven plan is that we have tried to do something about it, tried to collect data via an experiment and seeing where it takes us. The timing of ushering in an environment of local experiments for the problems facing our urban centers cannot be more perfect. Happy New Year!


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