For 40-year-old Mukesh Moolchandani, a store manager in a retail chain, Friday marked his maiden carpool ride to work. Moolchandani, who owns an even-numbered car, shared his ride to his workplace, in one of the busiest malls in the capital, with his neighbour. Many others found various alternatives, abiding by the odd-eve rule.
Moolchandani, who travelled from Freedom Fighters Enclave to his office six km away, said, “I had never carpooled before. I requested a neighbour to drop me. Tomorrow, I will drop him.” Asked if he faced any problem, he replied, “There is no harm in trying. Whether the policy is viable in the long run, we will know later.”
At two of the busiest malls, Select City and MGF, many drove in, mindful of the odd-numbered registration requirement. The two malls, for the entire day, saw only about 30 visitors violate the rule.
While, the malls saw 65 per cent occupancy till the the noon, the evening saw full occupancy. The rise in the number of visitors after 6 pm did not lead to a rise in violations.
Among those who violated the policy, at least six drove SUVs and sedans. Also, at least 10 of those vehicles that violated the policy had registrations of other states.
A fair number of women, who have exemption from the policy, drove into the malls. CNG cars, which are also exempt, entered the malls in large numbers.
Civil defence personnel stood at the entry points of the malls, handing roses to those driving even-numbered vehicles. At one point, a bit of confusion cropped up over even and odd and it required Hindi translation.
“Even in Hindi means ‘sam’ and odd means ‘visham’. I have read in a Hindi medium school and I know the words in Hindi,” said Bharat Kumar, a civil defence volunteer. Around eight civil defence volunteers stood at the malls for a shift before colleagues relieved them.