The Delhi government’s car rationing formula will be tried out between January 1 and January 15 on the basis of dates from 8am to 8pm, transport minister Gopal Rai told a news conference on Tuesday.
“It will be datewise,” Rai said, days after the government said odd numbered vehicles would ply on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and those with even numbers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Rai clarified that odd numbered vehicles would be allowed on the roads on odd dates “like 1, 3, 5 and so on” and even numbered vehicles on even dates “like 2, 4, 6 and so on”.
The rationing of the vehicles on Delhi’s roads, aimed at curbing alarming levels of air pollution, would not apply to Sundays when all vehicles can ply, the minister said
There has also been no decision yet on the hundreds of thousands of two-wheelers which environmentalists say also contribute to pollution and need to be curbed..
The complete blueprint for the ambitious odd-even formula would be ready by December 25, Rai said.
Road rationing is among the various steps that the Delhi government announced to clean the city’s toxic air that has worsened in the last few weeks with a thick blanket of smog enveloping the Capital.
Aware of the scepticism surrounding the plan, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said it was a temporary solution. “Let’s try the odd-even car formula for at least a few days… If here are a lot of problems, we can stop it and learn from the failure,” Kejriwal said at the HT Leadership Summit on Saturday.
Vehicular emissions are one of the biggest contributors to Delhi’s toxic air. The situation worsens in winters as pollutants hang in the air for a longer time.
If implemented, Delhi will be the first Indian city to restrict vehicle use to clean air. Several cities in the world have undertaken the drastic measure but for limited periods of time though road-space rationing is followed in various forms across the world.
For the city, the government has asked people for suggestions that can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Delhi government said it had held detailed discussions with Delhi Traffic Police and Delhi Metro in a bid to coordinate what is expected to be a mammoth exercise.
Kejriwal will hold a further review meeting of all departments on December 10.
Rai said 1,000 low-floor buses would be bought immediately in a bid to meet the need for more public transport when the number of vehicles fall steeply on the roads from January 1.
Delhi has nearly 90 lakh registered vehicles, almost a third of them cars. Some 1,500 new vehicles are added every day.