Delhi Government’s odd-even scheme has come into implementation from 8 AM on Monday morning with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urging all citizens to use carpooling in order to control the deteriorating air quality in the national capital.
A flagship scheme of the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP)-led Delhi Government, the odd-even scheme is a car rationing system aimed at combating pollution, by allowing the cars with odd and even number plates to ply on the roads of the national capital on alternate days.
The scheme which has started from today will go on till November 14 and will be applicable from 8 am to 8 pm. It will not be effective on Sunday, November 10.
As it is starting today i.e November 4, the cars with even numbers will be allowed on the roads for the day, till 8 PM.
The car rationing scheme comes at a time when the national capital region is battling with severe to very severe level of air pollution.
Urging citizens to follow the scheme, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal wrote on Twitter, “Hello Delhi, the odd-even scheme is starting from today, in order to reduce air pollution. Do follow odd-even for the sake of your health, your children’s health and your family’s breath. Share car, this will help increase friendship, build relationships, save petrol and reduce pollution.” He made this tweet in Hindi.
Kejriwal had on October 17 said that the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme will only be implemented on “non-transport four-wheeled vehicles”, exempting two-wheelers and emergency vehicles.
Persons with disabilities, vehicles carrying school students and electric vehicles are exempted from the rationing scheme. However, this time private CNG vehicles will come under its ambit. Delhi government has also said that only those women drivers who will steer the vehicle alone or with other women on-board or with a child less than 12 years of age will be exempted.
The move has already invited criticism from BJP and Congress, with leaders of both parties cornering Delhi government over the same.
Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel had on Sunday said that he will hold a symbolic protest against the Odd-Even scheme of the Delhi government and will ride through the streets of Delhi on Monday in his car to oppose the move. He termed the scheme as an “election stunt” and a “drama”.
Congress leader JP Agarwal also criticised the move and said that it was too late for the Delhi government to act on the pollution issue.
Speaking to ANI, Agarwal said, “Delhi government has failed to effectively deal with the issue of pollution. They wake up only after the pollution level peaks. Delhi government is to be blamed for the hazardous level of pollution here and the Centre is also responsible. They should have called a meeting of Chief Ministers of neighbouring states and should have devised an appropriate strategy to deal with it”.
As part of odd-even scheme, private vehicles with registration numbers ending with an odd digit (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) will be allowed on roads on odd dates and those with an even digit (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) on even dates. The rules will also apply to the vehicles with registration numbers of other states.
The violation of the rules in the restricted hours will attract a fine of Rs 4000.