'Wish cops done more for car-free day'

'Wish cops done more for car-free day'

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the Delhi Police of not doing enough to make the fourth car-free day “successful”, as police complained about “unwarranted interference of AAP volunteers”.

“It is requested that in future whenever any car-free days are organised, volunteers may not be deployed and Traffic Management should be left to Delhi Police,” Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander said in a January 18 letter to the Transport Minister Gopal Rai, who blamed police for traffic snarls during the previous edition of car-free day.

Earlier on Friday, Sisodia kicked off a cycle rally along with teachers and students of Delhi University to mark the car-free day, organised on a 6-km stretch between Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station and the Chhatrasal Stadium red light.
“I am seeing that cars are running on the car-free day stretch,” he told a gathering at the event, urging Delhi Police to “shoulder its responsibility”.

“We are even ready to give you the credit of odd-even scheme’s success,” he said. Delhi government is at odds with the Delhi Police ever since Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was attacked with ink at a function to celebrate “successful implementation” of the odd-even rationing of road space.

“We have an objection if you think you will be satisfied doing this,” Sisodia said, slamming police.

Car-free day is observed in a part of the city and is supposed to be a “voluntary exercise”. The next car-free day will be organised in south Delhi, according to Rai. 

“We are happy that police will not allow volunteers to manage traffic. But what will then be the sense of car-free day if cars are allowed on the stretch,” the Transport Minister said.

The car-free day on Friday got a mixed response from public. A Tilak Nagar resident raised slogans against Kejriwal over allegation of corruption against a local leader.

Students and civil defence volunteers turned up at the event with placards. Loudspeakers were installed at various places to guide people.

“I don’t think the car-free day had much impact. Not just me, many of my colleagues came in their cars,” a Delhi University teacher said.