The first day of the odd-even scheme in Delhi saw the Supreme Court make scathing observations about it, BJP MP Vijay Goel flout it, and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia declare “high compliance” with it.
The vehicle rationing scheme kicked off in the capital the same day the Supreme Court took up the issue of Delhi’s air pollution, and the apex court bench put some tough questions to the Delhi government.
What’s the point of odd-even: Supreme Court
“Banning diesel vehicles is still okay but what is the point of this odd-even. The issue is that you are stopping one vehicle but other vehicles will ply. You have to augment public transport,” PTI quoted the bench, comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta, as saying. “You do not have funds for metro. You are not contributing for this.”
The court said banning some private cars would mean more taxis and auto-rickshaws on the road, which would contribute to pollution. When the Delhi government counsel said that three-wheelers and cabs in Delhi were run on the less-polluting CNG, the court asked for data on pollution levels during the previous editions of the scheme. The government has to furnish this data by November 8.
Vijay Goel fined for violating scheme
BJP MP Vijay Goel Monday violated the scheme by driving to ITO in his odd-numbered vehicle. He was accompanied by BJP vice president Shyam Jaju and other party leaders.
Goel, who was issued a challan of Rs 4,000 by the traffic police, said this was a “symbolic violation” of a scheme that was just an “election stunt.”
“With exemptions to 70 lakh two-wheelers, cab aggregators Ola and Uber, three-wheelers and women drivers, the odd-even scheme has been rendered a mere gimmick and an election stunt,” Goel said.
The vehicles of the Delhi Chief Minister and other ministers have not been exempted from the scheme. While Kejriwal drove to work along with PWD Minister Satyendar Jain, Delhi environment minister Kailash Gahlot spent some time at the ITO intersection, carrying a placard urging people to follow the rules. “I am happy to announce that I have received reports from various locations in Delhi since 8 am, and there has been 100 per cent obedience to the rules under the scheme from all across the national capital,” the CM told reporters.
192 challans issued
On the first day of the scheme, 192 people were fined for violations, Sisodia said in a press conference. The Deputy CM said 170 of these challans were issued by traffic police personnel, 15 by officials of the enforcement wing of the Transport Department, and the rest by the district administration.
“I observed high levels of compliance while going to an event, barring two cars, which may have had women drivers. We had, in any case, directed authorities to be lenient against violators on the first day. In a city where over 30 lakh vehicles ply on a daily basis, of which around 15 lakh were on the roads on Monday, 192 challans is not a big thing,” Sisodia said.
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