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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Delhi hunts for air fair: Govt claims people cooperating

The transport department received only 800 calls Wednesday as compared to 1,400 Tuesday, said an official.

Written by Sarah Hafeez | New Delhi | Published: January 7, 2016 2:40:03 am
delhi pollution, pollution in delhi, delhi odd even scheme, delhi odd even policy delhi news, india pollution Real-time display of pollution levels on a ‘live meter’, Wednesday. Praveen Khanna

People are getting used to rules of the odd-even policy, the transport department and traffic police observed Wednesday.

The transport department received only 800 calls Wednesday as compared to 1,400 Tuesday, said an official. “Fewer people are calling us with doubts and we are also having to issue fewer challans,” the transport department official added.

On Delhi High Court asking the government to review the need for the policy to be extended to next week because it was “causing inconvenience” to a large number of people, Transport Minister Gopal Rai said a “little trouble has to be borne for big measures”.

Rai said the government would produce before the court data related to pollution levels after the first week of the scheme and would also state why it needs 15 days to “sufficiently” gather data to show results. “We decided to make it a 15-day programme so that we gather sufficient data, which can be better looked into, and prepare a blueprint,” he said.

“People are carpooling to save the lives of their children and entire Delhi is unitedly cooperating with the government in this movement,” Rai added.

On the policy, he said, “The biggest benefit has been a congestion-free Delhi, which has put a brake on further increase in pollution levels. There has been minimal impact in the border areas, but vehicular pollution and PM 2.5 are surely coming down in the interior areas,” Rai told mediapersons.

On compliance, Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander said, “I have been taking trips around the city the past few days to see what the response is. On Wednesday, I saw much more compliance than on Monday, for instance. We issued fewer challans, 130 as compared to Tuesday’s 401.”

Chander, however, added, “It will be interesting to see what happens after a week. Depending on what decision the government takes, we will be enforcing the rule.”

Virender Singh, a bus driver steering the vehicle through Anand Parbat, said, “If nothing else, the odd-even plan has made driving a pleasure. There is no congestion and the bus functions better because I don’t keep hitting the brakes. I also clock my trips earlier than before.”

R S Minhas, public relations officer (PRO), Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), said ridership on Tuesday was 40.04 lakh, approximately 10 per cent more than what was recorded in the initial days of the odd-even plan.

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