Odd-even rule passes working day test

Odd-even rule passes working day test

Odd-even rule passes working day test

The Delhi government’s odd-even scheme more or less passed the test of its first full-fledged working day on Monday.

The national capital saw build-ups in peak hour, but the 7,143 public transport buses and robust Metro system with increased train frequency managed to handle the pressure.

The Aam Aadmi Party government said that public transport is “not perfect” but carpooling has helped in not overburdening the public transport system.

At least 1,915 motorists were booked during the day for breaking the odd-even rule. Till 8 pm, when the curb on odd-numbered cars ended, Delhi Poiice had challaned 1,040 drivers and sub-divisional magistrates booked another 766. In addition, by 2 pm, 109 car drivers were fined by Delhi government's Transport Department.

Earlier on Sunday, the government had issued a series of measures to tackle the challenges emerging out of the working day’s rush on Monday, including coming down hard on odd-even rule violations. During each of the last three days’ of the road rationing experiment rollout, the enforcement agencies had issued far lesser challans. “We didn’t have to use even one of the 100 special fleet buses that were kept on standby to be used in the case of overcrowding,” Rai said.

The government had 4,461 Delhi Transport Corporation buses, 1,251 private buses and 1,431 cluster buses plying on the city roads on Monday.

He named and shamed a few schools which ditched the government by not giving their buses. “We requested school owners at least ten times or more, but of the 408 schools and 1,799 registrations, just 125 schools, 366 buses joined,” he said.

On Monday, Delhi Metro’s 198 trains made 3,192 total trips to handle the passenger rush. Trashing pictures circulated of crowded metros on Twitter, Mangu Singh, Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said, “We were watching stations continuously. The circulated photos are not real.”

“It was an average day’s rush in the morning,” said Ashish Kumar, a Vaishali resident, who was on board a Metro train at around 5:30 pm. Delhi Metro carried over two lakh more passengers till 8 pm compared to the same hours on the previous Monday.

“A challan of Rs 2,000 is a major deterrent,” said Sudeep Gupta, an even numbered car owner. He told Deccan Herald that he preferred carpooling with his colleagues to reach his Noida office.

Once penalised for violating the odd-even rule, the vehicle is supposed to be off from the roads within two hours – failing which the violator attracts another fine.  Majority of the app-based taxi aggregators, including popular services like Ola and Uber, launched its carpooling feature days ahead of the implementation of the odd-even scheme. Delhi government’s Poochh-O app, which facilitates carpools just like other app-based cab services, received some 5,000 downloads from Sunday evening to Monday morning, the transport minister said.

Buoyed by the success on Monday, Public Works Department Minister Satyendar Jain said, “We never imagined that on the fourth day, there would be a demand to continue with odd-even scheme.”
 

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