Come manic Monday, when the odd-even formula faces its first real test on a full working day, enforcement agents will show errant drivers no mercy and strictly implement the challan system.
Only 567 car owners paid the Rs 2,000 penalty during the first two days of the ambitious drive to clean Delhi’s air. Many rule-breakers were let off with a lecture and a rose as the focus was on creating awareness. Not anymore.
Thanking Delhiites for the “success” of the two days, transport minister Gopal Rai on Sunday warned that no violators would be spared from Monday. Apart from more enforcement teams being deployed, he said “open and hidden cameras are being installed to catch violators. All civil defence volunteers will also video-record violators with their mobile phone cameras. Very strong monitoring will be resorted to and no soft approach will be taken”.
Delhi Traffic Police chief Muktesh Chander, too, said his department would adopt a different strategy, but didn’t give details.
As offices reopen after an extended weekend, the public transport system will also face its big test.
Rai said adequate arrangements were in place but encouraged people to carpool while remaining non-committal on the exact number of extra buses that would hit the city’s roads.
At least 1,800 of the 3,000 additional buses promised belong to schools — many of which, the minister said, were still reluctant to join the scheme. “Irrespective of the number of buses, we have ensured the carrying capacity of buses increases from the existing 48 lakh to 64 lakh. If the schools don’t deploy their buses, we will release a list of defaulters tomorrow,” he added.
Around 1,200-1,800 traffic personnel will be out on the roads, sources said, and their numbers will go up depending on traffic flow during peak hours.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will also be rolling out its entire fleet of additional trains on Monday.
The additional 197 trains which had been given the green signal to be used for odd-even drive were not used during the first two days because there was no significant increase in the Metro ridership.
The Delhi government has also requested the police to deploy 100 additional teams to maintain law and order, Rai said, after receiving information that some people who wanted the scheme to fail were preparing to make trouble.
A clearer picture of pollution levels is also expected on Monday with experts saying the general decline on Friday and Saturday was not purely due to fewer cars being on the roads but also because of weather conditions.