How to survive Delhi’s odd-even scheme

Raj Kamal Rao
New Delhi: FILE- A view of traffic jam at Ring Road near ISBT in New Delhi recently.  Photo - PTI

New Delhi: FILE- A view of traffic jam at Ring Road near ISBT in New Delhi recently.
Photo – PTI

Delhi Government’s much talked about odd-even experiment will come into effect from Friday, January 1. The drastic move by the government has come after Delhi’s pollution levels reached hazardous limits. Surveys reported that out of 20, 10 most polluted areas in India happened to be in Delhi. Multiple warnings from the apex court, the Delhi High Court and the Green Tribunal in the past few years are now being heeded to.

A trial run for 2 hours (8 am to 11 am) was conducted today in 200 different locations in the city. Muktesh Chander, Special CP, Traffic who monitored the trial called it a success.

“I expect people will follow rules, and people should not drink and drive,” said Chander.

The odd-even rules you must know

  • The odd-even rule will be operative from January 1 to January 15, 2016.
  • The rule only applies to private cars.
  • If your car number ends with an even number (0, 2, 4, 6 & 8) you can drive in Delhi on even dated days… Similarly, those number plates ending with odd numbers like (1, 3, 5, 7 & 9) can drive on odd-dated days.
  • Sunday’s are a free-for-all day. The rule does not apply.
  • The restrictions are applicable from 8 am to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday.
  • If you are caught violating the rule, you will attract a fine of Rs. 2000/- in accordance with the provisions the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

How will the Government implement the rule?

  • The Delhi government and the Delhi police have authorised about 5000 volunteers to assist police and traffic departments to implement the new order.
  • Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has authorized officers of the rank of Head Constable and above in Delhi Police, Transport Department and other officers to conduct inspections and fine violators.
  • “DP to assist odd even to protect environment. Volunteers not to act on their own. Even stopping or asking someone to return is an IPC crime,” Police Chief BS Bassi tweeted on Wednesday.
  • AAP government has hired about 3000 private buses to compensate the additional pressure on public transport when half the cars will be off the roads.
  • Delhi metro has been asked to run in full strength in its scheduled hours.
  • Schools in the National Capital Region have been asked to remain shut until January 15.

Who all are exempted to the odd-even rule?

  • CNG vehicles are exempted from the odd-even rule. Those using CNG will have to display CNG stickers on their vehicles.
  • Constitutional Authorities like CJI, President, Prime Minster among others are exempted.
  • Emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire brigades are exempted.
  • Vehicles driven or occupied by handicapped persons are exempted.
  • Women only cars- including children of age up to 12 years travelling with them are also exempted.

Criticism

  • The odd-even experiment has received criticism from advocates and doctors who are not listed in the exemptions list. They even went to the High Court in Delhi asking for a stay. Advocates argued that the formula does not yield results if two wheelers are exempted from the rule.
  • Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) while filing a petition in the Supreme Court had expressed disappointment at the range of exemptions granted to different vehicle segments like two-wheelers and single women-driven cars.
  • “Two-wheelers contribute 31 per cent of particulate load from vehicles and should be included in the programme,” a CSE statement said.

The Pledge

On the other hand, many Delhi residents including students have pledged to support the odd-even rule and follow it to reduce pollution in the capital. Several school students in the city took a pledge along with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday to educate fellow citizens.

At the end of the 15-day trial period, an assessment will be made by the pollution control board and the Delhi government.