Delhi odd-even II: CNG cars exempted, decision on women drivers soon

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 30, 2016 12:38 IST
A view of traffic at ITO during the first phase of odd-even restrictions in Januray, 2016. (Hindustan Times)

Cars running on CNG will be exempt from the second phase of odd-even restrictions, which starts on April 15, the government announced on Tuesday after a second meeting of its coordination committee.

A decision on exemption of women drivers, however, was not taken.

Delhi’s transport minister Gopal Rai said a final decision on exemption of women or any other category will be taken by the chief minister himself at a cabinet meeting soon.

“I personally want women drivers to be exempted, but opinions are divided in this matter,” Rai said.

People, who have CNG cars, can collect their sticker from CNG pump at CGO complex from April 1.

The 15-day of the road rationing scheme had ended on January 15 during its first phase.

The government was forced to restrict the use of odd-numbered cars to odd dates and even-numbered to even dates after the high court compared Delhi to a gas chamber, voicing concern over alarming levels of air pollution.

Hundreds of traffic police and volunteers took to the streets to enforce the scheme during its first phase, including dozens of children wearing smog masks and holding banners urging drivers to comply.

Most drivers abided by the road-rationing rules, with Delhi’s usually clogged roads flowing relatively freely.

The government later claimed that fewer cars on the roads brought air pollution levels down by several notches.

“We took some important decisions in Tuesday’s meeting. It has been decided that an awareness drive will be launched from April 1. We have finalised ‘Delhi bole Dil se, Odd Even phir se’ as the slogan for our awareness campaign. An advertisement campaign will also be launched on FM channels as well as on electronic and print media. We will use the space on the back of buses and LCD screens in every metro station to spread the message,” transport minister Gopal Rai said.

“The second round of odd-even will be implemented from April 15 to April 30. As a result, most of the car users will switch over to public transport and there will be an additional rush of commuters. We therefore want to provide more buses and have decided to engage private buses under ‘DTC Paryavaran Bus Service’. Such private buses will be roped in from March 29 and stay in service with the Delhi Transport Corporation till April 14,” said RS Minhas, DTC spokesperson.

The government has fixed the rate for these private buses and will not hire any school buses like last time. The administration has also decided to hire 1,500 ex-servicemen to assist transport department in implementation of the odd-even scheme.

“The interview process for hiring former servicemen will start from Wednesday and they will be part of the enforcement wing. The sub-divisional magistrates of all the areas will be put on standby to tackle cases of emergency and 5,000 civil defence volunteers will also be present on roads,” Rai added.

The government will also start the trial run of air quality monitoring units in NCR cities soon and will hold an oath ceremony on April 13 at Chattrasal stadium, where all the volunteers will be present. To promote carpooling, the Pooch-O application will be upgraded.

The government has also received a request from the Election Commission asking for exemption of their vehicles in case of municipal bypoll.

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