Vehicles ferrying children in school uniform will be exempted from the odd-even rule, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday. This is the one of the new exemptions in the second phase of the odd-even scheme, set to begin on April 15.
All other exemptions from the first phase — vehicles with women drivers, women driving with children up to 12 years of age, some VIP vehicles, two-wheelers, vehicles with differently-abled people, among others — will continue.
On cars ferrying children to school, Kejriwal said, “There was an issue over this because people raised concerns about what will happen when the car is on its way back after dropping the child. We have decided that, first, any car with a child in uniform will be exempted. In the afternoons, it is usually women who pick up children, and they are anyway exempt.” He clarified, however, that if it was not a woman picking up the child, car pooling would have to be followed.
Stating that this phase has “almost” the same rules as the first one, Kejriwal said the new rule will be applicable between 8 am and 8 pm on all days, barring Sunday.
Cars entering Delhi from other states will be included in the rule.
While central ministers are exempted, the CM requested them to try and follow the rules. “We request that they participate in the odd-even scheme, like some judges had done during the first phase,” he said.
All emergency vehicles, including those belonging to hospitals and fire services, will be exempted. Enforcement vehicles including police, transport, paramilitary forces, vehicles with defence ministry numberplates, SPG protectees, embassy vehicles and vehicles of election observers will be exempted. “Medical emergency exemptions will be based on trust,” said Kejriwal, adding that CNG, hybrid and electric vehicles will also be exempted.
The government will be operating two helplines — 42400400 and 41400400 — which will be monitored by a team from the transport department. “If people have any complaints during the scheme related to buses, metro, or autos, they can call these numbers,” said Transport Minister Gopal Rai.
He added that “90 per cent preparations” for the scheme have been completed. “We hope more people will take the Metro this time due to the heat. Last time, the Metro made 3,192 trips. This time, we have increased it to 3,248 trips and added 30 more coaches. More CISF personnel will be posted for security. We are also preparing additional counters so people do not face problems in buying tickets,” said Rai.
On April 13, Kejriwal will address a team of enforcement officials, volunteers and state government departments on the final details of the scheme at IGI stadium. He will speak to school children on the same day.
Rai said the remaining details of the scheme will be announced on April 13. The gazette notification will be sent to the Lieutenant Governor Monday and will be finalised on Tuesday or Wednesday, said Kejriwal.
Rai added, “We will continue the gandhigiri of the first phase; all violators will be given flowers by the volunteers.”
New exemptions and more bus depots
The list of exemptions include the vehicle of UPSC chairperson, vehicle of chief election commissioner/ election commissioners, vehicle of Comptroller and Auditor General, vehicles of state election commission, Delhi and Chandigarh, vehicles deployed by the commission with election observers/returning officers/assistant returning officers and security vehicles.
“Officials of the UPSC, the election commission and other bodies had approached us for exemptions to carry out government and enforcement work. So we granted it as they are not VIPs,” said a government official.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Gopal Rai inaugurated a new bus depot at Dichaon Kalan in southwest Delhi Saturday, and announced that 11 new depots will be set up. “The depot is a 5-acre complex that can house 120 buses. The boundary walls have been erected and construction will be completed in nine months,” he said.