The odd and even number operation of private vehicles for pollution control will come into effect on January 1, and will be implemented date-wise. Private cars with odd vehicle number plates will ply on odd dates and those with even number plates will ply on even dates.
“On January 1, cars with numbers ending with 1,3,5, 7 and 9 will operate. Similarly on January 2, cars with numbers ending with 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 will be allowed to ply. There was a proposal to implement this day-wise but we received feedback saying people might find it difficult to remember the days on which odd and even numbers will be allowed to operate,” said Transport Minister Gopal Rai.
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While the odd and even policy was among a slew of radical pollution control measures announced last week, the government on Tuesday clarified some of the aspects of implementation after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a review meeting. The meeting was attended by ministers, senior Delhi government officials, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Special Commissioner (Traffic) Muktesh Chander.
Rai said that in the first phase from January 1 to January 15, 2016, operation of odd and even number vehicles will be in effect from 8 am to 8 pm. Private vehicles with both odd and even numbers will be allowed to ply before 8 am and after 8 pm. “Sundays will be exempted from this campaign. Everyone will be allowed to ply,” said Rai.
Kejriwal is scheduled to hold the next review meeting on December 10 and the government will come out with the blueprint for the implementation of its pollution-control measures before December 25.
While Public Works Department Minister Satyendar Jain had said on Monday that the government is considering making the odd and even number operation applicable to cars entering Delhi from outside, Rai, said that issue is still under consideration, along with the inclusion of two-wheelers.
To provide alternative means of transport to those leaving their cars at home, Rai said the government will put 1,000 more buses on roads in three months. He said there were 9,000 CNG contract carriages in Delhi that will also be roped in to augment public transport.
“We have a meeting with bus owners on Wednesday. We will hold similar meetings with taxi and autorickshaw unions as well to work out the plan to strengthen public transport. We will also make the necessary alternative arrangements in places that lack last mile connectivity.”
Rai said that there were various categories under the government’s consideration for exemptions from the odd and even operation rules. These included the sick, disabled, women and those returning home after the date changes from odd to even. “Who will be covered and who will be exempted is yet to be decided,” said Rai.
Sources said the government was deliberating whether vehicles driven by women should be exempted or those ferrying only women should be given relaxations. Air samples will be collected from 200 locations across the national capital on a regular basis and will be analysed to determine air quality, said Rai. LED display boards will be set-up at all these locations to let the public know about the air quality. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee will be carrying out this task, said Rai. Rai added that thermal power plants in Delhi – Badarpur and Rajghat – have been sent notices to shut down operations within seven days.