Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday said private CNG vehicles will not be exempted during the upcoming odd-even drive in the national capital, while women-driven vehicles meeting certain conditions will be out of its ambit. The third round of car-rationing drive will be taken out between November 4-15.
Addressing a press conference here, Kejriwal said privately driven CNG vehicles will not be allowed to ply during the car-rationing drive as the exemption stickers given to owners of such vehicles were misused during the last two phases of the scheme and a repeat of that “would defeat the purpose” of implementing it.
“Public transport vehicles run on CNG will be exempted, but private cars won’t be. We noticed that the stickers were misused at a large scale in the past. They were sold in the black market and were even pasted in cars driven on other fuel,” Kejriwal said, flanked by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot.
He also said that women-driven vehicles will be exempted keeping in mind their safety.
The chief minister, however, kept the decision on two-wheelers pending. Kejriwal said the two-wheelers “cause a lot of pollution” and should be kept out of the list of exemptions, but the existing public transport infrastructure would not permit such a drastic step.
“They cause a lot of pollution and odd-even should cover them. But they are large in numbers, over 50 lakh, and our public transport system is not robust enough to deal with the potential rush in the event of getting them off roads. Where will so many buses come from? The contradictions are being studied. We are talking to experts and also deliberating within the government on whether or not to exempt them. A decision will be taken in the next three-four days,” he said.
Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said 2,000 buses are being hired, which will be put on roads during the drive. The city has around 5,500 buses currently as against the Supreme Court mandated strength of 11,000.
The Delhi Transport Department had told the CM in an official note Friday that potential benefits from the odd-even scheme will be “lessened significantly” if two-wheelers are exempted as they comprise as much as 88 per cent of the city’s vehicular fleet. The department has suggested that staggered office hours – 11 am to 7.30 pm – be tried and two-wheelers are accordingly allowed till 11 am on odd-even days.
Kejriwal said that staggered working hours will be implemented during the drive, which will be in force between 8 am to 8 pm. The CM also encouraged people to opt for car-pooling, which he said is generally resorted to by car owners.
On the question of violations, he said fines in accordance with the Motor Vehicles Act will be imposed, however, efforts would be made to tackle violations through appeals, instead of penal measures.
“We had deployed a large number of civil defence volunteers last time around. They don’t have enforcement powers, but the intention was to affect a change in mindset by way of polite appeals. As far as possible, we will send people back if found violating. Whenever needed, we will impose fines,” he said.
Under the amended MV Act, motorists may have to shell out as much as Rs 20,000 for violating odd-even.