Odd-Even Scheme May Return After March

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The odd-even scheme implemented in New Delhi for a trial period of 15 days, is set to return sometime after March. Now that the trial period has ended, the Delhi government is already researching ways to address 2 main concerns that will stem from the scheme- how school children will commute and the possibility of people purchasing additional vehicles to circumvent the restrictions. Yesterday, Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, chaired a review meeting to deliberate on when the next phase of the odd-even scheme should be implemented. All departments have been asked to submit a report on viable solutions for the aforementioned concerns. The concerned departments have to submit their reports before the next meeting, the date of which is as yet unconfirmed.

Also Read: Odd-Even Rule: Over Rs 2 Crore Collected in Fines

Speaking about the 15-day trial, Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that besides alleviating traffic congestion, the average pollution level had in fact come down significantly. Agencies like CSE, EPCA and TERI have also reportedly confirmed this fact. Rai said," In today's review meeting, all the departments including PWD, transport, environment as well as independent experts have expressed their views that the scheme should continue further to bring down pollution levels and de-congest the capital's roads. During the meeting, two major concerns came up for discussion. These two concerns are about picking of school children by their parents and the second that people will move to buy an alternate car to evade the scheme."

Also Read: Effect of Odd-Even Scheme on Pollution Still Uncertain

A PTI report states that a top source has indicated that the government is planning to introduce the 2nd phase of the odd-even scheme sometime after the culmination of CBSE board examinations in March-April. Surprisingly and contrary to earlier reports, the source added that 2-wheelers would continue to be exempt from the car-rationing policy.

Also Read: Odd Even Formula: The Exemptions

When asked about the inclusion of 2-wheelers under the scheme, Rai stated that a decision is yet to be made and will only be possible once the public transport system is improved which includes increasing the number of DTC and cluster buses. He also stated that the frequency of the buses increased significantly during the 15-day trial period. "64 lakh people used to travel in DTC and cluster buses every day during this scheme. Government is moving towards augmenting public transport by introducing new buses," he said.

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