Less traffic a relief but problems galore for daily commuters

Less traffic a relief but problems galore for daily commuters
Delhi Government's ambitious odd-even scheme to curb pollution in the national capital which was rolled out today garnered mixed response from the commuters with some of them lauding it for the "futuristic approach" and a few dubbing it "impractical".

"It is definitely difficult to begin with. Someone who has driven down to office for few years can't easily get used to travelling by metro or public buses instantly. But considering the congestion and increasing pollution, I believe this is a futuristic approach which was urgently needed at the moment," said Gyanatosh Jha, a marketing professional.

Rafeeq, a taxi driver, said that his passengers were happy to see less traffic. "The tourists are at ease today. Otherwise they always criticise the traffic system and long jams in Delhi. I have been driving taxi for 15 years and congestion has been a major problem. I believe it is good step by the government," he said.

Advocating exemption for medical professionals under the scheme, a doctor said, "I have two cars which are both odd so that means I work just half a week or I take cabs. Now I cannot predict emergency, the most essential service as far as Delhi is concerned is the medical force and we are not exempted under the scheme."

"I think the idea is good but I will request the Chief Minister to relook at the modalities. A lot of us are in intensive care practice and they should look at it sensitively," he added.

"We welcome the move and I left my car home today as I have an even number. But I saw some cars plying on the roads with even numbers, I hope they are prosecuted. The plan is good but there has to be a strict implementation," said Mridul Bhattacharya who commutes from Sarojini Nagar to Central Delhi.

Rajesh Malhotra, a businessman, said, "I drop my wife on the way to my office. On alternate days, she will take the car and I will take a cab. It is inconvenient for sure but I think if implemented properly it will be beneficial in longer run".

Commuters also called for strengthening of public transport system if the government wants to ensure that odd-even scheme works out successfully.

"The idea is fine but the government needs to offer some strong alternatives. You cannot ask people to quit driving without providing them options about how they can travel. Metro frequency has to be maintained more buses need to be made available," said Brijesh Kunj.

Vikash Sharma, a medical representative, said, "It is huge inconvenience for public with all 'who's who' of Delhi being exempted under the scheme. Is it just meant for public? The scheme is fine but I believe there should be no exemptions for anyone".
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