Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai on Saturday said that government has no intention to continue the odd even scheme after January 15.
“We will carry out a review after 15th. Currently there is no plan to extend it further,” said Rai.
The Aam Aadmi Party government had on Friday told the Delhi high court that it may extend the odd-even scheme beyond the 15-day trial period, saying it has a “definite positive” effect against air pollution in the capital.
For 15 days from January 1, private cars are being allowed on the city’s roads every other day to try to reduce pollutant levels, which regularly hit 10 times the World Health Organization’s safe limits.
Cars with odd-numbered licence plates have been directed to ply on odd-numbered dates, and those with even-numbered plates on the other days.
Till now 5893 challans have been issued to violators. “The money collected from challan will be used in giving subsidy to those planning to buy bicycle. We want to promote use of cycle,” said Rai.
Government helpline has received 13500 calls till now and transport department has formed 66 teams to check the traffic jams on Monday and Tuesday.
The government on Thursday had said that the road-rationing plan was working and would not be cut short as pollution levels in the city had dropped considerably. A week into the 15-day trial run, the city government, battling criticism that the odd-even formula for private cars had failed to clean city’s dirty air, had said the concentration of finest particles, known as particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5), had fallen significantly.
Sixty micrograms per cubic metre is considered the maximum safe level while the World Health Organization recommends 25 micrograms. These tiny particles released by factories and motor vehicles can cause respiratory distress and have also been linked to cancer and heart disease.