Odd-even eases traffic in City

Odd-even eases traffic in City

Cab users pay 3 to 5 times more fare

Odd-even eases traffic in City

 As the odd-even scheme faced its first working day, and more rush on the roads, after a long weekend, the Delhi government said it will take “strict action” against app-based cab hailing firms if they levy peak-time charges.

Uber and Ola reacted by “temporarily” suspending surge pricing, a business practice in which taxi companies raise fares when demand for the cabs go up in a particular area.

Earlier in the day, cab users said they paid three to five times more because of surge pricing, and school and office goers faced inconvenience, thanks to the odd-even car curbs, which started on April 15.

Monday was seemingly a hard day for parents of school goers. Rishi Sharma, a resident of Vasant Kunj, who has two car but both odd numbered, is looking for a relative or friend with whom he can exchange one of his vehicles for 15 days so that he can take his kid to his football coaching institute.

But overall the government passed the Monday test. Most of the congestion-prone roads saw smooth flow of traffic, and Delhi Metro and bus services faced minor hiccups during the peak hours. “Metros were little more crowded than usual in the morning,” Ashish Kumar, a Ghaziabad resident, said.

With auto and taxi unions calling off their strike on Monday, fewer decided to pay hefty peak-time charges. Amit Vohra, who commutes to Nehru Place for work, said that he had to wait for nearly an hour for cab fares to go down this morning. 

Over 700 people were challaned during the day by the Traffic Police and the enforcement wing of Transport Department.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain carpooled with Transport Minister Gopal Rai to reach Delhi Secretariat, while the BJP MP Vijay Goel was challaned for driving an odd-numbered car.

On his way to Parliament, Goel had to pay a fine of Rs 3,500 – which includes Rs 2,000 for the violation of odd-even rules and Rs 1,500 for driving without licence and vehicle insurance. The lawmaker deliberately violated the rules to oppose the Aam Aadmi Party government’s odd-even scheme, banning vehicles on alternate days.

The Transport Department was miffed by complaints of peak-time charging by app-based cab companies. The notified fare for economy radio taxi is Rs 12.50, while the radio taxi cabs (with LCD board saying: “Radio Taxi”) are authorised to charge Rs 23 per km, as per the government rules.

Additional night charges (25 per cent of the fare) are applicable between 11 pm and 5 am.

“If any taxi is found to be overcharging, the Delhi government will take strict action in such cases including cancellation of permit and impounding of the vehicle,” a statement issued by the Transport Department said. The statement came hours after Kejriwal warned taxi operators to follow the government rules on rates.

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