Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his cooperation on the ‘odd-even’ initiative, and said directives or a public appeal by him in this regard would have a “major impact”.
In a letter, Kejriwal apprised the Prime Minister that he, along with his colleagues, would carpool to office during the January 1-15 period when the vehicle rationing scheme will kick in and urged Modi to request Union ministers and secretaries to do the same.
Kejriwal said the AAP government had to resort to the “unexpected and disagreeable decision” in order to mitigate air pollution in Delhi, which has assumed “dreadful proportions”.
“People will surely have to face some difficulties in the wake of its implementation... We are all answerable for this problem and we can find out a solution together only,” Kejriwal wrote in the letter.
“The Delhi government is taking a lot of steps in this regard and has decided to implement the odd-even measures on an experimental basis. The blueprint is being worked out but it has already been decided that autos, cabs, public transport, ambulances, and emergency vehicles will be out of its ambit,” he added.
Kejriwal, who has cycled on designated stretches during the past car-free days in the city, said if the experiment meets success then “we may repeat it in the future”.
“I want to request you through this letter to inspire your ministers and secretaries to observe the same. This will send out a good message to the residents of Delhi and our efforts will get support. I believe that if there is a directive or appeal from your side to follow or comply with these rules than it will have a major impact,” Kejriwal wrote.
In a radical step to curb air pollution, the Kejriwal government had announced earlier this month that private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers will be allowed to ply only on alternate days starting January 1.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, at an event of paramilitary force ITBP, said everyone will have to “go together” when he was asked about Kejriwal’s communication to Prime Minister Modi seeking his cooperation on the ‘odd-even’ initiative.
“Delhi is a very polluted city. It is our responsibility to keep Delhi clean. How to do it we should discuss... We should take care that there is no inconvenience to public also and we should not have any differences and we should go together... It is good to go together,” he said.