Delhiâ€™s road space rationing scheme faced a big test on Monday, the first full working day after an extended weekend since the implementation of the odd-even campaign on January 1.
Delhi CM ArvindKejriwal & Health Minister Satyendar Jain carpool to go to Delhi Sec in Transport Minister Gopal Raiâ€™s Tata Nano car (Twitter)
Officials earlier said as the odd-even scheme was rolled out during holidays, fewer vehicles were seen on the roads. Public transport, including Metro trains and buses, witnessed less-than-normal rush. Special commissioner of police (traffic) Muktesh Chander admitted that â€œMonday will be the actual test of the odd-even restriction ruleâ€.
More than a million private cars were banned from New Delhiâ€™s roads on Friday (January 1) as the drastic new measures to curb pollution in the Capital came into force. For 15 days from January 1, cars with odd-numbered licence plates will be allowed on the roads on odd-numbered dates and those with even-numbered plates will ply on even-numbered dates.
The traffic halts at a crossing as the trial of odd-even scheme came into effect in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI)
Hundreds of traffic police and volunteers took to the streets to enforce the scheme as dozens of children wearing smog masks and holding banners urged drivers to follow the rules. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues led the way by using different modes of transport â€” motorbike, e-rickshaw, bus and carpooling â€” to travel to the secretariat.
The ruling AAP said the â€œnear absenceâ€ of even-numbered cars on Friday was encouraging and it showed people have appreciated the message of â€œchoosing health over facilitiesâ€.
â€œSome people are saying that the real test of this scheme will be on Monday when people in large numbers will go to work. I am confident that in the coming days as well, Delhiites will continue to support our endeavour as they will choose the health of their child over their comfort,â€ transport minister Gopal Rai said.
Volunteers offer free rides on e-bikes. As per estimates, about one million private cars are expected to go off the road if the scheme, with the exemptions, tastes success on a regular day. (PTI)
Kejriwal has described the â€œsuccessâ€ of day one as a â€œmovementâ€ but admitted the 15-day trial of allowing odd and even-numbered private vehicles to ply on alternate days could not be a permanent solution.
â€œIt is not possible to implement the scheme permanently,â€ he told a news channel. â€œThese weapons are used on a temporary basis to curb dangerous levels of pollution.â€
As per estimates, about one million private cars are expected to go off the road if the scheme, with the exemptions, tastes success on a regular day.
Many cities that face a pollution problem are keenly watching Delhi to see how the national capitalâ€™s newly introduced odd-even vehicle scheme fares in the coming days.