The Delhi government’s 15-day road rationing experiment at the start of the year cost more than Rs 20 crore.
A large chunk of the amount – roughly Rs 14 crore – was allocated to hire buses to augment public transport while Rs 3.5 crore was paid to civil defence volunteers who manned roads and handed flowers to motivate people to follow the odd-even plying rule for private cars.
Another Rs 4 crore, Delhi government sources said, was spent on advertising the scheme – Rs 3 crore on pre-event promotions and Rs 1 crore on thanksgiving ads.
“The Delhi Transport Corporation hired 1,200 extra buses. The agreement was to pay Rs 42 per km and the corporation was supposed to pay them for at least 225 km a day. So, for 13 days and 1,200 buses, at least Rs 14 crore will be paid to the private operators,” a senior Delhi government official said.
The scheme was not in operation on Sundays.
The corporation earned Rs 23 lakh per day from the 1,200 buses which would total nearly Rs 3.5 crore. The government earned about Rs 2 crore from challans issued during the drive.
The operators will be paid by the transport department, sources said.
Government sources said the ad spend was necessitated by the realisation that wide awareness was required for the first-time scheme to succeed.
“Initially from print to TV channels to radio and hoardings, huge money was spent to create awareness. We booked space across the city for 15 days and at some places, hoardings were replaced. In total, the awareness drive cost us Rs 3 crore,” the official said. “The thanksgiving advertisement was limited to print and hoardings, so it costs us less. Some amount was spent at the venue, too.”
The civil defence volunteers who assisted the traffic police accounted for the next big chunk of expenditure.
“There were over 5,000 volunteers and they were paid Rs 500 per day for 13 days. Over Rs 3 crore will be paid to the volunteers,” the official said.
An unspecified sum was spent on purchasing roses that were distributed to violators, sources said, adding that the transport and environment departments would foot the bill.