Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday accused her successor Arvind Kejriwal of publicising the odd-even road rationing policy in a blatant attempt to fool people into believing that the formula was a raging success.
The second phase of the odd-even scheme began in the national capital on Friday and Kejriwal has called on the people to make it a success.
Odd even scheme returns: Live Coverage of Day 1
“I really don’t see any benefit here. This is nothing but inconvenience. They should have gone ahead with the programme only if they honestly thought it was a success. They should also ensure adequate transportation to people, which is not there right now. Half the buses are broken down, how are people supposed to travel now?” Dikshit told ANI.
She further accused Kejriwal of going out of his way to publicise the scheme saying that the chief minister was trying to make the scheme sound like a one of a kind, never heard before formula.
“They have publicised this to make it sound like it is out of this world and they have tried to create such an impression, but it’s clearly not working,” Dikshit added.
Echoing similar sentiments, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Vijender Gupta told ANI that the Delhi government was not proving anything by implementing the formula only for 15 days and asserted that the odd-even scheme was not a permanent solution to the national capital’s traffic woes.
“The government’s aim through this programme is not clear. This is all just a waste of effort and time and it’s not even a permanent solution. It’s just time pass by the government. People are saying that they might have to buy another vehicle if this continues,” Gupta said.
Kejriwal, however, found some support from Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O’ Brien, who wished him luck for the successful implantation of the scheme.
“Rise & Shine #Delhi. Good luck @ArvindKejriwal & team for Chapter Two #oddeven Do what it takes,” Brien tweeted.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) have announced extra trains and buses to cope up with the rise in the numbers of commuters opting for public transport.
The chief minister has conceded the first phase didn’t reduce pollution as expected but insisted the scheme freed up choked intersections and slashed traffic on Delhi’s busiest stretches. Kejriwal also said that public transport needs to be strengthened before the scheme could be implemented on a regular basis.
According to the scheme, private cars with registration numbers ending in odd digits will be allowed on odd dates and those ending in even digits will ply on even dates. The scheme is starting on Friday, April 15 and will end on April 30. The restrictions will be enforced from 8am to 8pm Monday through Saturday.
VIPs, women drivers, CNG-certified vehicles, two-wheelers, those carrying the differently-abled, two-wheelers, and emergency vehicles are exempted from the scheme. The exemption will not apply to Delhi chief minister and his Cabinet colleagues as they have decided to abide by the rule.
Those found violating the scheme will be penalised with a fine of Rs. 2000.
About 5000 civil defence volunteers will be at various traffic intersections carrying placards explaining the rules to motorists.
The Aam Aadmi Party government had implemented the first phase of the radical initiative between January 1 and 15 to clean up Delhi’s toxic air, considered the worst in the world.