The fortnight-long second phase of the Delhi government’s odd-even traffic scheme, aimed at battling pollution in the national capital, begins on Friday. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has sought people’s cooperation for its success.
The odd-even plan for four-wheelers will continue till April 30 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., except on Sundays. The guidelines for the second phase are similar to those of the first phase.
However, vehicles with both odd or even registration numbers carrying students in school uniform will be exempted as also the veicles being driven by women with women or children as passengers.
Kejriwal, who has been making appeals for success of the scheme over radio and TV, said on Wednesday that the scheme could be enforced for a fortnight every month in the national capital if the second phase is also a success like the first phase was.
According to notification issued earlier this month, four-wheelers with odd registration numbers will be allowed to ply on odd dates (April 15, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29) and those with even registration numbers on even dates (April 16, 18, 20, 22, 26, 28 and 30). There will be no restriction on Sundays (April 17 and 24).
Like the first phase between January 1 and 15 this year, two-wheelers are exempt from the scheme. Vehicles entering Delhi from other states will also be in the ambit of the scheme.
But since unlike in the first phase, schools will be open and functioning this time, vehicles carrying school students have been exempted from the restrictions.
Violators will shell out a penalty of Rs.2,000, like the last time.
Elaborating on the preparations, Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday said that 6,000 Delhi Transport Corporation buses would ply on various routes to ferry commuters.
“Around 4,000 civil defence volunteers would be stationed at various places across the city. Like during the previous phase, they will give roses to the violators of the scheme,” Rai told reporters.
He said the traffic police will enforce the scheme and 400 ex-servicemen will work with the enforcement wing of the Delhi transport department to check violations.
Rai said that two helplines — 01142400400 and 01141400400 — would be operational during the scheme. Complaints can be made concerning bus service and other problems at these helplines.
Incidentally, while the scheme had started on a Saturday in the first phase in January — a holiday for most government offices, this time too it is starting on a holiday — Ram Navami — followed by two more week-end holidays for most government employees.
The exemptions to the operation of the scheme include vehicles plying on compressed natural gas (CNG), women motorists and several categories of VIPs.
The vehicles of the President, prime minister, governors of all the states, chief justice of India and high courts, speaker of the Lok Sabha and chairman of the Rajya Sabha and leaders of opposition in both houses, union ministers, emergency and enforcement vehicles like ambulance, fire brigade, police will remain exempted.
No Delhi government official or minister would be exempted from the scheme.
To gauge the impact of the scheme on the capital’s air quality, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) will monitor the ambient air quality at 119 locations in Delhi and NCR.
The Delhi government has launched an app called “Poocho Carpool” to give people more options for carpooling during the second phase of the odd-even traffic scheme.
Kejriwal urged union ministers to follow the odd-even policy voluntarily.
The Delhi government said that the Delhi Metro will make more trips per day compared to the first phase of the odd-even scheme.
“During second leg of the odd-even scheme, Metro will make 3,248 trips as compared to the first phase, where it made 3,192 trips during the day. Thirty extra coaches would also be added to the trains,” Rai said.
The Delhi government has sought support from six neighbouring states in the implementation of the second phase by restricting entry of heavy diesel vehicles in Delhi.