Tanveer Khan, a resident of Okhla who works as a consultant in Gurgaon, got an unusual number of calls after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the second phase of the odd-even scheme starting from April 15. He had registered himself with an app that connected people interested in carpooling when the government ran the trial run of the road rationing scheme in January.
As soon as the announcement was made on Thursday, the group came alive again.
“All this while when there was no odd-even rule and I was still registered with the app, I got no calls but it seems people think about their environment only after a rule is forced on them. I have received a number of calls but I cannot share my car with everyone as I had adopted carpooling much before the rule was implemented,” said Khan, who has been carpooling for almost a year now.
The rule that is all set to be rolled out again for 15 days has put many supporters in a dilemma. They contributed the first time by using public transport or pooling their cars. But will they do it again? Many are not sure.
“Many others like me didn’t continue doing it after those 15 days. It is a good practice but involves a lot of hassle in terms of coordination. It is not necessary that everybody’s working hours will match. Carpooling sounds cool but comes with its own set of problems. People were doing it fearing the fines and due to the pressure of the rule,” said Dr Swati Saxena, who had shared a car with his colleagues from west Delhi to Mathura Road in January.
Then there are some people for whom phase one was a lesson they still swear by. Jai Singh, a Sarojini Nagar resident, has continued carpooling even after the odd-even restriction ended. His colleagues who live in INA, RK Puram and Lakshmi Bai Nagar share his car every day to commute to their workplace in Lodhi Road.
“I am hopeful to see a positive change. It is our own way to protect environment. Government can just make laws, finding ways to implement them is our responsibility. I started carpooling seeing others doing so in my peer group. Now many others will adopt it following my example. That is how it will spread like a fashion,” said Singh.