Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s announcement of the second phase of the odd-even rule—when odd- and even-numbered cars are allowed to ply on alternate days—was prefaced by a declaration of victory for the first phase in the new year’s first 15 days. The order in which he laid out the achievements was revelatory. The compliance—people of Delhi by and large followed the rule—was itself the first win. Road decongestion came next and reduced pollution—the policy’s stated aim—came last and was stated unconvincingly. A referendum has been conducted, but that is no substitute for scientific evidence.
The second round to be implemented between 15 April and 30 April seems to have a no-“lessons learnt” component. The list of exemptions remains largely the same; the first trial’s cost-benefit analysis was not taken into account; and no alternatives were considered. One wonders if the results will be any different.