People want two-wheelers to stay, but say no to VIP exemption from road curbs

In the crowded lanes of Paharganj’s main market area, shoppers stopped to catch a glimpse of a small gathering on Sunday afternoon. Over 50 chairs were lined up as the Aam Aadmi Party’s second day of inviting public opinion on the odd-even scheme was scheduled to start.

The crowd started coming in small numbers once the discussion started at the Jansabha. Most of them were unaware of the reason behind the gathering but waited eagerly to listen to the party representatives.

As the Karol Bagh MLA Vishesh Ravi arrived, a member of the party’s Paharganj Mandal started listing out the advantages of the government’s first trial of odd-even from the stage.

“Besides pollution and traffic, the odd-even scheme had an impact in maintaining law and order in the city. During those 15 days, very few incidents of road rage were reported. This happened as people were not irritated due to traffic woes,” he said.

The presence of people was thin even after the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of the area arrived to seek public response on whether it should be enforced again or not.

While the exercise was meant to get residents’ views of a particular area on its proposal to launch the odd-even formula again, the crowd mostly comprised people who had come to the area for shopping, AAP supporters and workers employed near-by. Not many residents were seen at the gathering.

Before giving the microphone to SDM Chandreshekhar, the AAP representative narrated the benefits of the scheme and pleaded with people to give a positive response when the SDM would ask them about their suggestions.

The SDM, with a questionnaire in hand, asked the crowd to raise their hands or reply with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

“Do you want the odd-even scheme back?” he asked. Almost everyone raised their hands in support, while the SDM noted down.

The next question was about the period when it should be implemented. Out of the four options of February 15, March 1, April 1, and May 1, majority in the crowd raised their hands in favour of February 15.

The MLA and the AAP supporters were buoyed over the response on the duration of the scheme. Almost everyone in the crowd agreed to have the odd-even trial for 15 days every month.

When it came to exemptions, the crowd unanimously agreed on excluding two-wheelers and women drivers. However, when asked about VIPs, most of them raised their hands for ‘No’.

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