Geneva based International Road Federation (IRF) working for better and safer roads world wide has welcomed Delhi Government’s initiative of Odd Even number plate driving on different days to reduce pollution in the capital.

“IRF welcomes the Delhi Government move, but also wants decongestion of roads especially from unwanted vehicles passing through the capital. About 12 lakh vehicles pass through the capital daily, clogging its nine highways especially those roads connecting Delhi with Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida, Loni and Ghaziabad. This is most starkly evident on the National Highway-8(Delhi-Gurgaon), which was designed for a peak traffic volume of 1.6 lakh vehicles by 2015.But already about 1.5 lakh vehicles fight for space on that road today.” Said MR K K Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation .

“Most of the Delhi has road plans that were laid down hundreds of years ago . Due to increase in number of vehicular traffic the capital roads cannot cope with the ever-increasing numbers of cars and other vehicles. This is causing massive congestion problems, especially at “rush hour” when vehicles literally crawl on all major roads .Delhi’s congestion has doubled in the last eight to 10 years and threatens to fail all projections. The capital’s congestion resulting in pollution is worst among 35 Indian cities and is four times more than Mumbai and Bangalore,” said Mr K.K.Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF).

“Solutions to the problems have included improving public transport, metro has helped in a big way, introducing park and ride schemes, pedestrianization (e.g. CP n Chandni chowk ), encouraging people to share cars into work and building wide ring roads in addition to existing. “said Mr Kapila.

“An Action plan is needed to decongest the Delhi roads and if need be impose higher parking charges in certain areas and higher road tax on purchase of second or third vehicle by both individuals and companies. The idea is to discourage private transport by putting in place a multi-modal public transport system in the Capital.The city’s thirst for owning vehicles looks nowhere near quenched even though Delhi’s roads are groaning rather loudly under their weight. Vehicles are in fact known to be the largest contributor to the capital’s fast deteriorating air quality” he added.

The government’s failure to enhance the public transport system prompted such large numbers to opt for personal vehicles. “Ironically, this has also been the time of recession and there seems to have been no impact of that on the power of purchase as far as vehicles goes. This year has seen an unprecedented number of vehicles added to Delhi’s quota. Delhi’s Master Plan talks of an 80% road travel by public transport by 2020, but going by the latest figures released by the government, that plan looks unachievable. “he said.