Expect more mixed reactions to Delhi's odd-even scheme

The Delhi odd-even rule has been adopted twice since Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party came to power. Photo/PTI

The Delhi government's odd-even vehicle rationing scheme to combat the city's air pollution is back. The scheme runs from Nov. 4 to Nov. 15. Under the scheme, private vehicles with registration numbers ending in an odd digit (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) will be allowed to ply on roads on odd dates and those ending in even digits (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) can run on even dates. This is the third round of the odd-even implementation by the Delhi government.

The rules are also applicable to vehicles from other states. Two-wheelers, emergency vehicles, Delhi police vehicles and vehicles belonging to the Army, the Prime Minister, the President and Union Cabinet Ministers are exempted. People with disabilities and vehicles carrying school students are also exempted from the scheme. Violators will have to pay a fine of Rs 4,000.

The scheme has received mixed reactions. Some believe that the scheme should be followed throughout the year but others disagree. According to the critics, the latest 10-day scheme this month will not make enough of an impact and countering pollution requires a more effective solution.

The Delhi odd-even rule has been adopted twice since Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party came to power. It was implemented from Jan. 1 to 15, 2016, and April 15 to 30, 2016. In the first and second phase of the scheme, 10,058 and 8,988 vehicles were fined respectively, according to an NDTV report.

Many experts believe that the scheme has been effective in reducing traffic congestion but it needs to be implemented without exemptions for certain vehicles. However, others think that exemptions are required for senior citizens and differently-abled people who cannot easily access public transport. Some consider the scheme to be a mere publicity stunt by the government.

Many commuters are unhappy with the scheme and they have raised questions about the effectiveness and the availability of public transport. The hike in the fine amount from Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000 has raised concerns.

Some commuters also feel that the scheme has had minimal impact on air pollution.

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