If odd-even round 2 works, scheme may alternate every fortnight in Delhi
The CM has said a fortnight every month was being thought of since it cannot be made permanent in the absence of a robust public transport system.Breathe delhi Updated: Apr 14, 2016 13:30 IST
The odd-even scheme in Delhi could become a 15-day affair every month, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday but the AAP government’s ambitious plans raised questions over some of the measures planned for the second phase starting April 15.
Launched in January to tackle the national capital’s air pollution, the scheme allows vehicles to ply on alternate days based on their registration numbers ending with odd or even digits barring Sundays. Theexemption on women and CNG vehicles will continue.
However, many people including parents and parliamentarians said the scheme was faulty and will serve no purpose.
Parents said the government’s move to allow them only to take their children in school uniform was lop-sided as they will face a fine of Rs 2,000 on returning home alone. In effect, parents will have to wait outside schools for seven to eight hours to bring their children home.
“Only vehicle carrying children with school dress will be exempted. We request parents to carpool as there are only nine working days during 15 days of odd-even scheme,” said Kejriwal. The first phase was implemented during the winter vacations of the schools.
Many parents HT spoke to on Saturday said they felt short-changed as the government had promised to come up with a reliable solution for this phase.
“Odd-even is the most unfair scheme implemented by this government. I got a car to drop my child to school as school transport is too expensive. This government missive will ruin my day,” said Manish Sharma, who drives his daughter from Mayur Vihar to Lodhi Road and back every day.
The decision was taken after the government discussed the matter over two days and even invited suggestions from the public on Twitter.
Kejriwal said if the second phase was successful, the scheme could be implemented for a fortnight every month. The government had cited “lower pollution levels” to declare the first phase a success though the experts had doubted the methodology used.
Parliamentarians -- who will attend the Budget session resuming on April 25 – questioned the decision to exempt only Cabinet ministers this time.
“Rich MPs in any case have multiple, fancy cars. It is MPs like us who will be affected as we don’t have our own cars and use parliament carpooling services. That should have been exempted,” said Congress Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda.
Another Rajya Sabha MP Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu, also of the Congress, said the scheme does not serve any purpose.
“In fact, it will create further divisions between haves and have-nots and lead to economic disparity. Haves will buy multiple cars with both odd and even numbers. But people like us can ill afford that. Moreover, its utility in terms of reducing pollution levels is yet to be ascertained.”
Sources said the government is yet to meet its target of acquiring 1,000 new buses before the second phase to strengthen the city’s public transport facility.
Even the process of allotting stickers to CNG vehicles has come under a scanner.
Kejriwal faced the heat on Saturday when a member of the Aam Aadmi Sena – a breakaway faction of AAP -- hurled a shoe at him at the press conference.
The man, later identified as Ved Prakash, asked Kejriwal to react on a sting carried by his group on alleged illegal distribution of CNG stickers.
A similar allegation was made earlier when a woman threw ink at the chief minister when the government was celebrating the success of the odd-even phase 1, at the Chattrasal stadium in January.
Sources said the group conducted a sting where an employee of Indraprastha Gas limited was allegedly caught selling CNG stickers to diesel vehicles. The Delhi government has authorised one centre at the CGO complex to distribute CNG stickers.
Prakash, 28, was allegedly assaulted by AAP workers before he was whisked away by police. Kejriwal continued the press conference after the incident.
Police said the accused has been booked under several sections related to assault and other charges.
“Prakash deals in property and real estate at Karampura in Delhi. His father is also a property dealer,” said DCP (central) Parmaditya who uses only his first name. Hin