Public works department and health minister Satyendar Jain Monday said the Delhi government’s decision to let odd and even number vehicles ply on alternate days will apply to private cars coming into Delhi from outside as well.
Jain added that the rule will not apply to two-wheelers. The minister is heading the government’s steering committee that will work on the recently announced pollution control measures – including the odd-even vehicle scheme.
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“There were two suggestions. One was that odd numbers would ply on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while even numbers would ply on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; everyone would be allowed to ply on Sunday. The other suggestion was that odd numbers would ply on odd dates and vice-versa. But some people felt there should be at least one day when everybody is allowed to ply. Also date-wise, 31st would be followed by 1st. Hence, it would be two consecutive days of odd number operations. Most people felt that the first option was better,” said Jain.
Government sources said that in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday, discussions were held on whether the odd and even number operations should be applied round-the-clock or during peak hours. While the government has broadly decided to implement the rule for two weeks, the exact duration has not finalised, said sources.
Ministers and senior government officials deliberated on whether exemptions should be granted once the rule is enforced. While emergency cases may be considered an exception, officials are concerned that the exemption may be misused.
Encouraging car-pools was also an idea that prompted the government to take radical pollution control measures. “If the Chief Justice of India can carpool, why not others? Delhi ministers will have to car pool. There is no choice,” said Jain.
“We discussed whether a car carrying four or five passengers should be allowed to ply, irrespective of the number plate, as …the car would be utilised to its optimum capacity. These were some of the ideas that were floated,” said a source.
Jain said public transport, including DTC buses and the Delhi Metro, will have to up their operations by 20 per cent to cater to the increased load. “We will be able to provide more than the necessary alternative means of transport. A 20 per cent increase in their operations – in the number of trips made by buses, more drivers and increase in the working hours of the Metro – will make this possible,” he said.
The minister said it was “unfortunate” that the police commissioner had dismissed the idea of implementing the odd-even number code. “Making the law and implementing it are two different things. Delhi police is not the government. It is an arm of the government. The job of police is to implement the law made by the government. We will take them into consultation and explain everything to him,” said Jain.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal sought an appointment with union home minister Rajnath Singh to discuss the implementation of the pollution control measures announced by his government.