Odd-even scheme kicks off, CM says overwhelmed by response

Odd-even scheme kicks off, CM says overwhelmed by response

Odd-even scheme kicks off, CM says overwhelmed by response

The ambitious odd-even scheme of Delhi government, a first such intervention in the country to combat spiralling air pollution, got off to a decent start on new year with volume of cars on the city roads coming down significantly amid deployment of thousands of policemen and and moderately augmented public transport.

As the clock struck eight this morning, the vehicular restriction policy came into effect with thousands of volunteers carrying roses also taking to the streets to assist traffic police in enforcing the pilot plan that will stay in force till January 15.

"Overwhelmed" by the response of the people to the car rationing experiment, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the pilot initiative of the AAP government has turned "into a movement".

Cars bearing odd-numbered registration plates shall ply on city roads today while those with even number plates, if taken out, will attract a penalty of Rs 2,000 under relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act. It will be vice-versa tomorrow.

200 teams of Traffic Police, 66 enforcement teams of transport department and 40 teams of sub-divisional magistrates were deployed across the city to ensure strict implementation of the scheme which is stipulated till 8 PM on week days.

Even as the scheme was unveiled, the air quality continued to remain very poor with areas of the city including the Delhi Secretariat complex recording severe level of pollutants in real time.

An additional 3,000 buses have been deployed in the city as part of efforts to augment public transport. The metro has also decided to run 70 extra trips.
The Chief Minister said that as per initial reports, the plan has been "quite successful" and people in the national capital have largely accepted the restrictions with an "open mind".

"I repeatedly said that the scheme will meet with success only when people embrace it and not though force. It has become a movement and we are truly overwhelmed by the response we have received so far.

"Delhi will show the way to the rest of the country," Kejriwal told reporters outside his residence.

However, the real test of the scheme's effectiveness will be on Moday as a number of private offices are closed today. Also the schools are having winter vacation, which would have taken off some load from the traffic.