Women drivers, CNG cars, two-wheelers and VIP vehicles will not be pulled aside when the Delhi government’s odd-even restrictions on the capital’s roads kick in for a 15-day period — January 1 till January 15. The policy dictates that cars registration numbers ending with an odd digit can ply on odd-numbered dates while those ending with an even digit will be allowed on an even-numbered date.
The pilot initiative, which is being tested to cut down on polluting vehicular emissions in the city’s air, will not extend to the Delhi government and its officials, including the chief minister.
Though a fine of Rs 2,000 has been announced to deter violations, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the onus of the policy’s success rests on Delhi’s citizens.
The list of exemptions though is still fairly long.
CNG and electric cars
In a bid to promote clean fuel and reward those who have shifted away from petrol/diesel cars, the government has exempted CNG and hybrid cars like electric cars from the pilot scheme. CNG cars will have to get a hologram sticker from Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) pumping stations and display them prominently on their cars’ windshields.
“It is important that the stickers are procured from IGL stations only. These will be issued after the inspection of cars,” said a government spokesperson.
Two-wheelers will not come under the purview of the policy yet. This may change however after the first week as a number of people have raised objections.
“The simple reason for keeping bikes out of the system is that our public transport is not strong enough to provide a viable option,” said the official.
“This is the plan in the interim. The ambit will be increased once we have a stronger public transport system,” Kejriwal said.
Women travelling alone or with children below the age of 12 have been allowed to break the odd-even policy. The government cited safety concerns as the reason for this despite a few NGOs writing to the government against exempting a section of women (those who have the capacity to buy and drive cars) from the system.
VVIP cars, emergency services and enforcement vehicles
Vehicles of VVIPs, ambulances, fire brigades, hospital vehicles, hearse vans, Delhi Police cars, army vehicles, emergency services vehicles, and embassy vehicles will all also be allowed to ply on any day. This is being extended to cars of chief ministers from other states as well.
People with disabilities
Vehicles driven or occupied by handicapped persons and those being used for medical emergencies needn’t follow the new trial policy. However, in case of the latter, vehicles will be allowed in ‘trust-basis’.
“There is no foolproof way to tell if there is a real medical emergency or not. We will trust doctors who say they are driving because of a medical emergency,” said a government official.
Cars from out of Delhi
All diesel and petrol cars, irrespective of where they are coming from, will have to follow the rules. If a car is coming from out of Delhi and is breaking the odd-even rule, a fine will be levied.
Delhi chief minister, Delhi government officials and MLAs
Hoping to lead by example, Kejriwal announced that the Delhi chief minister’s cars, as well as those of the cabinet ministers will not be exempted.
“My government and I will not be exempted from the rule. We had to take this step for the better health of the people of Delhi. It is on trial basis and nowhere in the world is it done permanently,” he said.
Diesel and petrol-run taxis
Diesel and petrol taxis which were altogether banned in Delhi NCR, will be on the roads till March 31, following a stay order on the ban. However, the cars -- most of which are attached to taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber -- will have to follow the odd-even rule.