Odd-even vehicle scheme comes into effect in Delhi

Odd-even vehicle scheme comes into effect in Delhi

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to people on Sunday to follow the rule for the sake of their children and the city. File photo

The odd-even scheme in the backdrop of the severe air pollution in the national capital has come into effect from 8 am on Monday (November 4), with only even-numbered non-transport vehicles allowed on Delhi roads on the first day of the exercise.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to people on Sunday to follow the rule for the sake of their children and the city. He has also asked the government machinery to ensure that no person faces inconvenience due to the restrictions.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have blamed the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi for the air pollution crisis and termed the odd-even scheme as a stunt by the ruling regime, with an eye on the Assembly polls due early next year.

Under the scheme, which will be implemented from 8 am to 8 pm till November 15, non-transport four-wheeled vehicles with registration numbers ending with an odd digit (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) will not be allowed on the roads on November 4, 6, 8, 12 and 14.

Similarly, vehicles with registration numbers ending with an even digit (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) will not be allowed on the roads on November 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15.

The scheme will not be implemented on November 10 (Sunday) and the restrictions will also apply to the vehicles with registration numbers of other states.

Hundreds of teams of Delhi Traffic Police and the transport and revenue departments have been deployed for a strict implementation of the odd-even scheme. Around 400 traffic inspectors and assistant traffic inspectors (ATIs) of the DTC and the transport department will be deployed in two shifts during the drive.

The ATIs and revenue department officials will issue challans to the violators as well as ensure a proper enforcement of the scheme at 200 locations identified by the transport department, according to a government official.

Delhi Traffic Police has deployed 200 teams to ensure a proper implementation of the scheme and around 5,000 civil defence volunteers have been trained for deployment across the city to create awareness about it.

Violators will be fined Rs 4,000. Head constables and officers of higher ranks in the traffic police, sub-divisional magistrates, tehsildars, ATIs and high-ranked officials of the DTC have been authorised to issue challans to the violators.

The enforcement teams of the traffic police and other departments have been issued challan books, receipt books and guidelines, to be used during the 12-day exercise.

In view of the odd-even scheme, the Delhi government has adopted staggered timings for the offices of its departments. While the offices of certain departments will open at 9.30 am, those of certain others will open at 10.30 am.

The scheme will also test the resilience of the city's public transport system.

The Delhi government's plan to hire 2,000 private buses has resulted in partial success as only over 800 buses were registered till Sunday evening. The number was likely to cross 1,000 by the night, a transport department official said.

Delhi Metro will operate 61 additional trips during the 11 days when the odd-even scheme will be in force. However, a major burden will be borne by over 5,600 Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses.

Cab aggregators Ola and Uber have said they will not apply surge pricing during the odd-even scheme. The government has also taken steps to prevent overcharging by autorickshaws.

Two-wheelers have been exempted from the restrictions, but not CNG-driven vehicles.

Vehicles being used for medical emergencies and ferrying school children in uniform will be exempted.

Women-only vehicles with children aged up to 12 years and vehicles occupied by physically-disabled persons will also be exempted.

The vehicles of the president, vice president, prime minister, governors of the states, chief justice of India, Lok Sabha speaker and deputy speaker, Union ministers, leaders of opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, Supreme Court judges, chief justice and judges of the Delhi High Court, Delhi lieutenant governor, chief ministers and LGs of the Union territories will also be exempted.

The restrictions will not apply to the vehicles of the chairperson and members of the Lokpal, chairperson of the Union Public Service Commission, chief election commissioner and election commissioners, comptroller and auditor general of India, chairperson and members of the National Green Tribunal, Lokayukta, state election commissioners of Delhi and Chandigarh.

However, the vehicles of the Delhi chief minister and ministers will not be exempted.

Emergency vehicles including ambulances, those belonging to the fire brigade, hospitals, prison and hearse vans as well as the enforcement vehicles of the police, transport department, paramilitary forces and those authorised by the divisional commissioner will also be exempted.

Vehicles bearing defence ministry number plates, diplomatic number plates, vehicles with a pilot or escort and Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees will also be exempted.