The “biggest benefit” of the odd-even scheme has been a congestion-free Delhi, state transport minister Gopal Rai said on Wednesday, contending that the car rationing measure was being enforced for a period of 15 days to enable the government to collect “sufficient data”.
Rai emphasised that the scheme, that will be in force till January 15, is “surely” bringing down the level of pollutants in areas across the city and that a “little trouble has to be borne for big measures”.
He said that all relevant data would be produced before the Delhi high court, which has asked the AAP government to consider if the scheme can be restricted to a week.
“The biggest benefit has been a congestion-free Delhi which has put a brake to further increase in pollution levels.There has been minimal impact at the border areas but vehicular pollution and PM 2.5 is surely coming down in the interior areas of the city,” Rai told reporters.
Rai said the government would apprise the court that it will be able to undertake a “proper analysis” with 15 days’ data in hand.
“We decided to make it a 15-day long programme so that we gather sufficient data which can be better looked into and prepare further blueprint,” he said.
On the court’s observation that public transport was “inadequate”, resulting in “inconvenience” to the public, Rai said the government has increased metro frequency, augmented the fleet of buses and developed technology for buses.
“People are carpooling to save the lives of their children and entire Delhi is unitedly cooperating with the government in this movement. We will also provide all the data to the court,” Rai said.
Terming as “vague”, the status report submitted by the government on implementation of the scheme, the court has sought information about pollution caused by taxis running on diesel and CNG which have been kept out of the purview of the odd-even formula.
It also sought data related to changes in the pollution level between January 1 and 7, the day the scheme will have completed a week.