Days before the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme returns to Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday said the AAP government was “seriously deliberating” on the possibility of enforcing the rule for 15 days every month till the city was ready to have it permanently.
The second phase of the odd-even experiment — during which odd- and even-numbered vehicles, with specified exemptions, will ply on odd and even dates — is scheduled for April 15 to April 30.
“We are seriously deliberating on the idea whether we can implement the odd-even rule for 15 days every month. See, it cannot be made a permanent feature till the public transport system is improved, and that will take at least a year or one-and-a-half years,” Kejriwal said at a press conference where he announced details of the next phase of the scheme.
“If we bring the rule for 15 days every month, our calculation is that every month people will be inconvenienced for 5-6 days. But for the rest of the month, and effectively half of every month, they will not face any problems,” Kejriwal said.
Asked if other ideas were being considered, such as stretching the duration of the scheme when schools were shut, the chief minister said, “We will think of other ideas. But we can implement it for 15 days every month… That seems doable.”
Women driving themselves, VIPs and two-wheelers — and certain other vehicles such as those being used in a medical emergency — were among the exempted categories in the first phase of the odd-even experiment during January 1-15 this year.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “There are only nine working days during these two weeks. Out of that, parents will face a problem only for 4-5 days. Please treat this as your contribution to give your child a healthy environment… you already make so many sacrifices for your children. This is one more.”
Delhi government ministers, including the chief minister himself, will not, however, be exempt from the rule, Kejriwal announced.
Like the first time, violators of the odd-even rule would be fined Rs 2,000. Besides volunteers, 400 ex-servicemen and 1,000 civil defence volunteers would be roped in to assist traffic police personnel in implementing the scheme.