After some schools in the capital refused to comply with the government order to provide their buses for the odd-even scheme in January, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has decided not to ask private schools to lend their buses for the second phase of odd-even.
“We have not approached schools to join the DTC Paryavaran Bus Seva this time because they backed out earlier. We are only concentrating on approaching private bus contractors. If schools want to come forward, they are welcome to,” said a senior DTC official.
Meanwhile, the government announced that CNG cars have been exempted from the second phase of the scheme. However, a decision on whether women drivers will be exempted this time is yet to be taken, said officials Tuesday.
With phase-II set to begin on April 15, Transport Minister Gopal Rai said most of the rules remain the same, save for the exemption on women. “Personally, I am in favour of exempting women, but the opinion is divided according to the survey we undertook. We will put out the final notification on April 8,” said Rai. He added, “CNG stickers will be available from April 1 at a centre near the CGO Complex on Lodhi Road. The centre will remain open from 8 am to 8 pm every day.”
This time ex-servicemen are to be deployed along with civil defence volunteers to man the city’sroads and junctions, and keep a lookout for violators.
Rai also announced that the registration of private carriage buses, which will be deployed on the roads during the period, has begun. The government is also embarking on a publicity campaign, ‘Dilli bole dil se, odd even phir se’, on April 1.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has also been asked to increase the frequency of train trips, while the transport department has been asked to maintain its helpline numbers.
Rai is also planning to write to the governments of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh, urging them to create awareness on the efficacy of the road-rationing scheme in combating pollution, and its guidelines.
Last December, the government had announced that it would enlist 6,000 private buses to supplement the DTC fleet. Of these, 3000 buses were to be lent by schools. However, the schools moved the Delhi High court, protesting that they did not want to lend their buses for public commercial use. The court ruled in their favour and told the government that it could not coerce schools into lending buses.
The DTC held two meetings this month in preparation for the second phase. “All leaves for employees will be cancelled and senior officials will be on duty as well… There will be a coordination meeting between depot managers, drivers and conductors in all depots on April 6,” said DTC managing director R S Minhas.