Outlining the plan for the even-odd number vehicle scheme to contain pollution, Health minister Satyendar Jain Sunday said cars with even number plates cars will ply on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday while odd number cars will ply on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. No decision has been taken yet for the plan on Sundays, said a senior government official.
Jain said anyone caught violating the rule will not be spared irrespective of designation or clout. He added that the penalty is yet to be decided.
“Only emergency vehicles such as fire tenders, PCR vans and ambulances will be allowed to ply (on all days). Private vehicles will have to abide by the rules,” said Jain.
Jain also said all ministers including the chief minister, bureaucrats and government officials will car pool.
Commenting on the chief minister’s statement of doing away with the scheme if people face problems, Jain said, “We need to save our children. To do that we have to find ways to reduce pollution. Arvind Kejriwal said he may discontinue the odd-even formula (if people face problems) as we too are learning. It is an important step if we have to reduce pollution. Pollution is reduced when cars are reduced.”
Jain said the government has 25 days to plan and prepare. “Starting January 1, you will see the results. We need people’s participation…. Everyone’s first reaction has been disbelief. It is only when people argue about the pros and cons that they realise the idea can work. At my home, my daughter was arguing with me. She asked how I could do this. Two days later, she said even if people face difficulty, it should be done. We are spreading awareness among people,” added the minister.
Jain said he has already taken to social media for ideas. “I have tweeted, asking people to come up with ideas to make the scheme successful. In half an hour I received more than 100 ideas. Few of them are path-breaking. We assure people that we will improve and increase public transport,” stated Jain.
He added that in the past few days, hospitals reported an increase of 40-50 per cent of patients with respiratory disorders.
“Earlier, infections would be cured in two or three days but now it takes more than 10 days,” said Jain.
“During winter, there is a lot of pollution and no circulation of air. As a result, a layer of smog has covered the atmosphere. People cannot live inside their houses all the time. We tell people to exercise, now we are asking them not to exercise. Such is the level of pollution,” added the health minister.
Meanwhile, transport minister Gopal Rai said the government will try to bring in 7,000 new buses. He also said the transport department has written to the Delhi Metro to increase frequency of trains and add more coaches.