The real test for the second phase of the odd-even scheme in the national capital will be on Monday, the first working day since the road-rationing measure was rolled out in the city on April 15.
All offices, schools and other institutions will reopen on Monday after the extended weekend. The second phase of the scheme was rolled out on the day of Ram Navami , a public holiday, followed by the weekend.
Unlike the scheme’s pilot phase, in which the focus was more on awareness and voluntary compliance, the government has cracked the whip on violators this time, with over 2,300 challans issued in the first two days as against 479 during the same period in the previous phase between January 1 and 15.
A strike called by auto and taxi unions in the city threatened to add to the woes of commuters. However, the strike call was later withdrawn after an assurance by the government that it would look into the demands of the unions.
The Aam Aadmi Party earlier alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party was trying to foil the odd-even scheme by “terrorising” a section of auto and taxi drivers into striking work.
Under the fortnight-long scheme, private cars having odd registration numbers can ply only on odd dates and the even numbers on even dates, subject to a set of exemptions, which include VIPs, women, school going children, medical emergencies, commercial vehicles and CNG cars.
During the first phase, since schools were shut, it was mostly office goers who had to make arrangements for themselves. This time, the problems are set to multiply.
In order to ensure the success of the scheme, the government has set a fine of Rs 2,000 for violators. It has also deployed 2,000 traffic personnel, 580 enforcement officials and over 5,000 civil defence volunteers to implement the scheme.
In the second phase from April 15 to 30, the government added into its exemption list people driving with schoolchildren in uniform.
However, the government has not been able to arrive at a solution to the problem of cars returning after dropping school children or heading towards the schools in the afternoon hours to pick them up, and suggested car pooling.