Thumbs up from odd-even volunteers

Thumbs up from odd-even volunteers

Civil defence volunteers on Tuesday claimed that the Delhi government’s road-rationing scheme has been well received by Delhiites, as they don’t find much problem talking people into following the drastic car curbs.

Meet Firoz Khan, a Delhi University’s School of Open Learning student, who doubles up as a civil defence volunteer near the ITO Metro station. “I don’t see many violations. And when you tell people that they are violating the rule, they understand,” he said, adding that he has devised newer ways to check odd-even violations.

Khan said he switches on his smartphone torch during evening to fox violators into thinking that he is video-recording them. Over 5,000 volunteers stand guard at traffic lights, which are hotspots of air pollution, mostly without masks.

The government had deployed 200 teams of civil defence volunteers alongside the Delhi Police to ensure compliance of the scheme. As per the government, their job is to create awareness about the odd-even, and they can’t challan violators.

“Most people behave properly. When you approach them regarding odd-even violation, they say, ‘Okay! I get it, it’s my mistake. I will follow the rule from next time.’ But sometimes, people who are not educated misbehave with us,” said Adil Ansari, another volunteer at a traffic signal near the Delhi Police Headquarters.

Ansari, who is a student of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), said he is happy with the seasonal employment, which helps him earn a wage of Rs 469 daily. His only grouse however, is that the government has not provided all volunteers with anti-pollution masks.

His colleagues, Mohit Kaushik and Vasim, said they enrolled themselves for volunteering for the government odd-even scheme after they learnt about it from their local MLA office.

When asked whether they are giving roses to violators, Kaushik said the supply of roses has stopped coming. During initial days of road rationing drive, the government gave roses for distribution to violators of the odd-even formula.