Day two of the Delhi government’s odd-even restriction saw vehicles flouting the rule and ignoring the volunteers. Unlike what was expected after the first day when the traffic movement on the road was fairly less with higher compliance according to traffic police.
On Saturday 276 fines were issued, out of which Delhi Traffic Police issued 229 challans, while 47 fines were issued by the Delhi government’s transport department.
“The compliance level on Saturday was much lower than Friday as there were many more vehicles on the road. However, we are expecting tougher days ahead,” said Muktesh Chander, special commissioner of police (traffic).
He also said that the department has been working with its maximum number of officials on both the days and rubbished reports which said that 1,000 additional officers were present on Saturday.
Over 200 officials from the traffic police have been deployed to manage the traffic and to prosecute violators during these days.
Several intersections were choked with vehicles and massive traffic jams were witnessed at India Gate, Connaught Place, Ring Road, Outer Ring Road, Rao Tula Ram Marg, Mother Teresa Crescent, Sardar Patel Marg, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Ashram.
The entry points to the city saw several motorists engaging in verbal arguments with police officials, as even-numbered cars were denied entry. Jams followed after arguments broke out at the Ghazipur border and also at the Delhi-Gurgaon border.
Commuters also faced inconvenience as unmanned pickets were put up at several points which slowed traffic movement, adding to the jams.
“All around central Delhi there were barricades but no cops to stop the violators. Though there were PCRs stationed at some points, they were least bothered about diesel vehicles with odd-numbered registrations crossing them... Apart from creating inconvenience for people no prosecutions took place at least when I was waiting in traffic,” said Manuj Singh Chauhan, a resident of Defence Colony.
Many feared that the situation is likely to get worse during the coming days. With just 2,000 officials on the road and about 27 lakh registered vehicles, the city would need a tight implementation plan. Another challenge would be that though civil defence volunteers and general police will be helping out, only traffic police can issue challans.
On Sunday, however, there will be no restriction.
Commuters also had to face over charging and refusal from auto drivers, which made travelling in the city worse. According to the transport department, 20 complaints were received from all sorts of auto complaints.
According to Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai and other government officials, compliance on Saturday was satisfactory.
“Mere rules cannot change anything, change of mindset is needed which we aimed at through implementation of odd-even formula. Two days’ trials show that people of Delhi are ready for it,” Rai said.
Others officials were also satisfied with the response.
“We had expected a few people to flout the rule on Saturday, the day being a weekend but it seems like the people of Delhi have made up their minds to follow the rule. The response is very satisfactory and we are expecting people to follow it on Monday too,” a senior government official said.