The government will conduct a survey before deciding to implement another round of the odd-even car rationing scheme.
Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai said on Saturday the survey would help the government gauge the mood of the people.
“After the first round of odd-even, we held surveys that said 81% people wanted the scheme back. We will conduct another survey soon to find out what people want,” said Rai.
The Delhi government claimed the scheme still had the support of the people. He said the lower number of challans this time showed compliance was high.
“If people didn’t want odd-even, they would not have followed the rule. The success of the scheme depends on people’s support,” Rai said.
Rai said more independent surveys by the media would help them gauge the mood of Delhiites.
Quoting surveys conducted by some independent bodies, including PHD Chamber of Commerce that said people scored a 6.2 out of 10 for permanent implementation of the scheme, Rai said people were in favour of the scheme.
“Even BJP’s survey said that 45% of the people are in favour of odd-even and they are the ones who have been trying to prove it a failure since the beginning,” Rai said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed it a success and tweeted, “Today is the last day of Odd Even-II. Congratulations Delhi for again making it a success (sic).”
Rai acknowledged that the second round of the restriction was a bigger challenge than the first. “The second odd-even exam was tougher than the first. It was challenging. But Delhiites followed the rules and passed,” he said.
It is almost certain that the third round of the restriction will not be back in May. Rai said car-free day would be held in northwest Delhi on May 22. The car-free day in April was cancelled because of the odd-even restriction.
Two reports – one analysing the impact of the scheme on pollution and another on the feasibility of the restriction in summer versus winter – are also expected to be out by May 10.
The second report will be a comparative study between the impact of the restriction in January and April. A six-member committee, which will have members from the transport department, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and schools, will submit its report on May 10.
The public transportation system with 2,000 new buses and a bus aggregator scheme is expected to improve in July. The temperature then will also be lower than that in April.
Rai said out of the 74 locations where air quality was measured using hand-held devices, air quality improved at 55-63 locations. He said the improvement was lesser in areas near Delhi’s borders. A more detailed study will be released on May 9.
The government will hold a function to thank the civil defence volunteers, traffic police personnel and others involved in odd-even at Chhatrasal Stadium on May 4.