Even, odd no. vehicles in Delhi on alternate days

Capital to impose curbs to check air pollution

Even, odd no. vehicles in Delhi on alternate days

In an unprecedented step, the Delhi government has announced that private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers wil be allowed only on alternate days on the roads in a bid to tackle the rising air pollution.

The details of the decision are yet to be worked out, but it can mean that cars with even registration numbers will be allowed on even dates of the month and vice versa for the ones with odd registration numbers, from January 1, 2016.

The sweeping decision to cap the number of vehicles on roads was taken in an urgent meeting called by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a day after the government came under fire by the Delhi High Court for not being able to tackle the “alarming” pollution.

The court observed that living in the national capital was like “living in a gas chamber”.

The court was not satisfied by the action plans filed by the governments and had directed the Centre and city government to present a “time-bound” action plan on December 21.

The decision would not apply to public transport vehicles like buses, auto-rickshaws and emergency services like ambulances, but will cover vehicles from other states.
With this, Delhi will become the first city in the country to have such anti-pollution policy.

The ‘even-odd’ system has been tried out, at least in a limited manner, in cities like Beijing, Paris, and Mexico.

It is not clear yet whether the plan would apply only for the winter months, when the air becomes more toxic and smog compounds the problem, or it will be applicable for the entire year.

These details will be worked out in another meeting of various departments called by the government on December 8.

“The modalities to formulate the scheme shall be worked out urgently,” the government said in a statement.

Delhi is going through one of its worst smog spells this season and according to the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), there has been a “seven-fold increase” in Delhi's air pollution level since October.

Vardhaman Kaushik’s petition in the National Green Tribunal led to the ban of 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the capital.

The CSE has also welcomed the decision, calling it a “much-needed” move in “such desperate times”.

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