To check pollution, Delhi govt announces curbs on plying of private vehicles

In a bid to curb rising pollution, the Delhi government on Friday decided that odd and even number vehicles will ply on alternate days in the capital from January 1, official sources said.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | New Delhi | Updated: December 5, 2015 6:21 pm
delhi, delhi pollution, delhi private vehicle ban, delhi private vehicle, delhi vehicle, delhi cars, delhi car pollution, arvind kejriwal, aap, aam aadmi party, delhi vehicle rule, private car rule Delhi’s air quality is in a sorry state, which has forced the Supreme Court to impose an environmental cess on all trucks passing through Delhi to other states. SAFAR’s report predicts an even worse situation post Diwali. (Express Photo)

In the first major green intervention by the executive which could become a template for other cities in the country, the Delhi government announced Friday a slew of measures starting January 1 to bring down pollution levels in the Capital.

READ: Delhi’s roads will be vacuum-cleaned starting April 1, 2016: Arvind Kejriwal

The radical steps, which include restrictions on plying of vehicles, shutting down of power plants, vacuum-cleaning of roads and not allowing vehicle parking on PWD roads, were made public a day after the Delhi High Court, commenting on the city’s poor air quality, said “it seems like we are living in a gas chamber”.

ALSO READ: Cong slams Delhi govts decision to curb on private vehicles, BJP asks if it is practical 

At a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the government decided to impose curbs on operation of vehicles on Delhi roads based on odd and even registration number plates.

Depending on the odd or even last digit on the plate, vehicles will ply on alternate days. This step is aimed at reducing both pollution and congestion on the roads.

CaptureThe number code for vehicles will be effected from January 1 and modalities will be worked out this month, Delhi Chief Secretary K K Sharma told reporters.

“A major step is that, particularly in winter when pollution is high, we will implement odd and even number of vehicle operation. We will make all efforts to start it from January 1. The next question: how will people travel? Alternative arrangements and additional transport arrangements will be made. DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) will be asked to run extra buses with higher frequency. Metro will be requested to increase its operations during the day.”

Also Read: Supreme Court takes steps to check air quality on its premises

“Large number of buses like school buses make only one trip in the morning and evening. In addition to these, the transport department and the DTC will hire more vehicles. We are working out the modalities. The next meeting will be held by the Chief Minister on December 8 and we will then decide whether we will observe this for two weeks or three weeks,” Sharma said.

Also Read: Curbing Delhi pollution: The Big Question, How?

The odd and even number operation will not apply to ambulances and other vehicles used for maintenance of law and order, he said.

“Exemptions will not be made based on VIP vehicles, it will be need-based,” Sharma told The Indian Express.

Also Read: It seems like we are living in a gas chamber, says Delhi High

Whether this will prompt people to buy vehicles with both odd and even numbers, he said, is a “risk we will have to take in society.” He said China has implemented the odd and even number operation effectively.

The environment department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) will consider issuing orders to close the Badarpur and Rajghat Thermal Power Plants which, he said, are contributing in a major way to air pollution in Delhi. He said alternative arrangements will be made for power supply.

The Delhi government, he said, will also move the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to seek closure of the thermal power plant in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh which is “contributing to air pollution in Delhi”.

WATCH VIDEO: This is what is wrong with the air in Delhi


The decisions came two days after the NGT came down heavily on the government, asking it to identify “critically polluted areas” and issue “immediate advisories” to the public.

Sharma said the entry of trucks into Delhi that begins at 9 pm is proposed to be pushed beyond 10 pm or 11 pm.

“A large number of people are still on the roads at 9 pm in Delhi. As trucks are allowed at 9 pm, they drastically slow down other vehicles on the road and people, who would otherwise spend 30 minutes on the road, end up spending 45-50 minutes. We are also told that after entering at 9 pm, trucks ply till about 2.30-3 am. If they are allowed after 10.30-11 pm, they can ply till about 4 am,” he said.

The transport department, he said, will conduct rigorous checks to ensure that trucks entering Delhi have valid pollution certificates.

“The cut-off date for implementation of Euro-VI emission norms for India has been fixed at January 1, 2019. Delhi government has decided to advance it to January 1, 2017. Delhi government will make all efforts to meet this new self-imposed deadline,” Sharma said.

Government officials said it was also decided to crowd-source complaints relating to visibly polluting vehicles and burning of bio-mass, garbage, leaves, etc. using Information Technology. The Urban Development Department will modify its recently launched Swachh Bharat mobile app so that complaints can be received from the public and forwarded for action.

“It is believed that a lot of pollution comes from dust. The PWD will make arrangements for vacuum-cleaning of roads. They need to procure equipment and identify agencies. The Chief Minister has given instructions to the PWD that will start vacuum-cleaning of roads from April 1, 2016 since it will take time to finalise the contract.”

In addition, it will also undertake a “massive greening project” on kutcha roads in the next three to four weeks.

MCD parking spaces on PWD roads of Delhi “creating chaos on roads will be closed down” and the PWD department, Sharma said, is being directed to take effective steps to implement these decisions at the earliest.

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First Published on: December 5, 2015 2:30 am
  1. I
    IndianWellWisher
    Dec 5, 2015 at 1:02 am
    Typical govt response - Create a problem somewhere else. Can we make public transport corruption free, reservation free? Merit and compeion is the only answer
    Reply
    1. K
      Kanu Patel
      Dec 4, 2015 at 9:42 pm
      Congratulations to Delhi government. You can afford a car is not the only criteria to run a car. Public health the most important matter. People should either use public transport or learn to share their vehicles.
      Reply
      1. P
        Patrik
        Dec 6, 2015 at 4:56 am
        The number of vehicles in Delhi will now double with one car households buying old cheap second hand vehicles with the alternate number. What we require is a viable alternate means of accessible public bus service.
        Reply
        1. S
          Sunil
          Dec 4, 2015 at 11:54 pm
          Will this be applicable to MLAs, MPs and Ministers also?
          Reply
          1. A
            Arun Kottur
            Dec 4, 2015 at 2:11 pm
            cosmetic measure OK what about ROOT cause
            Reply
            1. A
              aam aadmi
              Dec 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm
              Kejriwal government’s “odd-even number policy for PRIVATE vehicles (which covers Two WHEELERS also)” is anti-aam aadmi measure. It affects common man only because it does not cover government vehicles. Chief Minister Mr. Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues, MLAs, MPs, ministers, government and police officials will be free to move in Delhi on all the days of the month in government vehicles.
              Reply
              1. A
                Achal
                Dec 6, 2015 at 3:12 pm
                There is all sense in what I have written if you could read it without nonsensical mind which is reflected in your statement.
                Reply
                1. A
                  Achal
                  Dec 4, 2015 at 2:11 pm
                  Another knee jerk reaction by Delhi Government. He has copied it from France where Public Transportation is so good that anyone can travel without hles. Govt should have first copied the good system like one tkt for all modes of transport. One tkt one journey irrespective of distance. This is another joke against aam aadmi after mahajokepal! Auto rickshaw and taxi will thrive!
                  Reply
                  1. Y
                    yogesh mahajan
                    Dec 4, 2015 at 2:56 pm
                    welcome step..but people will start carrying 2 vehicles one with even and one with odd..so there will be now more congestion
                    Reply
                    1. V
                      Vikrant
                      Dec 4, 2015 at 8:21 pm
                      Why doesnt kejru stops the 24 car fleet that he uses. Instead of this he should start travelling by metro. Same for all the ministers and members of AAP party. Lead from front kejru. Stop using car for urself and your family.
                      Reply
                      1. F
                        foresure
                        Dec 5, 2015 at 10:20 am
                        Many factors contribute to air pollution. These include household appliances that burn fuel for warmth or cooking (combustion devices), emissions and exhaust from motor vehicles, power plants, and other heavy industries, as well as agricultural and biom waste burning.
                        Reply
                        1. F
                          foresure
                          Dec 5, 2015 at 10:21 am
                          Rapid urbanization in developing cities like Delhi have caused exponential increases in polluting activities. In particular, the number of vehicles on the road has resulted in a marked increase of air pollution.
                          Reply
                          1. F
                            foresure
                            Dec 5, 2015 at 10:05 am
                            This presence of nature in an ideal, materialized, energy and information form in man's Self is so organic that when these external natural principles disappear, man himself disappears from life. If we lose nature's image, we lose our life.
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Amit Gupta
                              Dec 5, 2015 at 5:19 pm
                              It seems AAP govt. is trying to copy paste formula from other countries without first doing the groundwork of providing alternatives to people. What is the hurry in implementing this. I belive first they need to do brainstorm what problems people will face and fix the potential issues upfront and give confidence to people that this step will benefit them.
                              Reply
                              1. B
                                Binu
                                Dec 8, 2015 at 6:32 am
                                We need to undertake following steps to support implementation of this law ... 1. Fix office timings, working hours to be reduced to adjust additional travel time through public transport. 2. Fix use of meter by Autos, or else public transport could be dam expensive. 3. Too suppor car pooling, we all neef to bring dicipline to working time and culture.
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  rhambo
                                  Dec 4, 2015 at 9:49 pm
                                  you talk nonsense. just keep quiet and things will improve. looks like you are a congress and rss agent
                                  Reply
                                  1. K
                                    K. K.
                                    Dec 5, 2015 at 5:26 am
                                    No one wants to use the private vehicle if the public transport is reliable. On my pushed and shoved travelling through Metro (from Janakpuri to Hauz Khas) and then using autos (from Hauz Khas to my place of working) where overloading made travel suffocating, I, at the age of 58 around four years ago, had no other alternative except to use my vehicle for reaching the office.
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      Sanji
                                      Dec 4, 2015 at 1:20 pm
                                      Oho have odd number car will have to buy even now. Now we will need per head two cars.
                                      Reply
                                      1. P
                                        PKR
                                        Dec 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm
                                        The Delhi government will be forced to discount two wheelers out of the scheme ,as such families may not be able to buy a another two wheeler.With public transport such a mess Delhi is going to erupt.
                                        Reply
                                        1. P
                                          PKR
                                          Dec 5, 2015 at 3:59 am
                                          What is the solution for people working in shifts?Better proposal will be to prohibit air conditioning in cars.This will reduce fuel consumption ,reduce traffic and expose the car owners to the reality of pollution and climate change.
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            Speaker
                                            Dec 5, 2015 at 3:45 am
                                            good proposals are given. hope people follow rules, rely on public transport more. dedicated lanes should be provided for dtc buses so that people dont face problems while commuting without their cars.
                                            Reply
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