Two days before its ambitious Odd-Even scheme, Delhi government is set to conduct a trial run on Wednesday. The highly debated scheme enforcing road-rationing for private vehicles based on their licence numbers begins from 8:00 AM, January 1, 2016. Meanwhile, to test the waters and cross-department coordination, nearly 750 private buses will be plied during the trial run on Wednesday.
The Delhi government has also tied up with the micro-blogging site Twitter to facilitate real-time information on public transport to commuters on the social media during the 15 days the odd-even scheme is implemented.
“Twitter users can get details of public transport available in particular areas by tweeting #pollutionfreeDelhi followed by the departure and destination point. Twitter will instantly send users real time public transport updates pertaining to the area,” Raheel Khursheed, Director (News, Politics, Govt) of Twitter India told the press on Monday.
According to the micro-blogging site Twitter, it has begun banking the details of public transport and by December 31, all information will be updated by the social networking site.
Besides, the Delhi government will also run special buses for the commuters from Ghaziabad and Noida. Delhi’s Metro services too will be making 70 additional trips during the odd-even trial period to tackle expected rush of passengers.
“We will be pressing into service the maximum number of trains possible operationally during this period keeping only the essential maintenance reserve,” a metro official told the press adding, “During the 15-day of odd-even scheme, there will be over 3,000 trips” instead of existing 2,000 trips.
The central paramilitary force CISF, entrusted with the task to provide security in DMRC stations, will increase its strength by deploying over 500 additional personnel.
But even before the scheme is set to see light of the day, controversy has struck over the reports of AAP-run Delhi government pressing in ‘volunteers’ to make sure that scheme is followed by the private commuters. Delhi Police has chief had now warned against any form of vigilantism.
“The volunteers cannot stop people just anywhere and ask them to go back home, which would result in violation of provisions of the India Penal Code,” Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi said adding that the police will suitable action if any private individual is found indulging in any act which constitutes a criminal offence.
“The scheme has been rolled out in a hurry and as time has progressed, changes have been made to the original plan. When the original plan was announced, at that point of time nobody thought that there would be so many exemptions,” he added further.
On being asked about a proposed trial-run on Wednesday, Bassi told that he is unaware of any such proposal.
“If they (AAP government) are going to have any rehearsal, we shall be participating in it…We have the capacity to respond in emergency situations. So even if we are informed in the last moment, we have the capacity to react,” Bhim Sen Bassi said.
Soon after, Delhi government claimed that the no party volunteer will be deployed.
“The issue raised by the police commissioner is factually incorrect. In Delhi, we were deploying 10,000 volunteers who are not of Aam Aadmi Party, instead they are civil defence personnel recruited by Delhi government,” Delhi Transport minister Gopal Rai said.
But another party leader Ashutosh, however, said that AAP volunteers will help in “implementing” the Odd-Even scheme but will work within the framework of law.
“Yes, our volunteers will be there, but will work within the framework of law. They will be there in every area and help in implementing the scheme,” Ashutosh said.
(With inputs from the PTI)