The ambitious odd even road rationing scheme is officially ending on Friday. While the anti-pollution initiative tasted success -- with the city witnessing marked decongestion on city roads coupled with a dip in peak pollution levels -- the Delhi government said on Thursday the decision on the second phase of the experiment was likely to be taken in the review meeting scheduled for Monday.
“When and how the second phase of the scheme would be implemented will be decided in the review meeting to be chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal with all the stakeholders on January 18,” transport minister Gopal Rai told reporters.
Terming the initiative to be a success, the Arvind Kejriwal government has decided to hold a thanksgiving event coming Sunday. Stating that success of the scheme has proved his faith in people right, Kejriwal recently asserted that the successful implementation of the experiment has also proved that the “AAP government is also capable of governing quite well”.
Experts, however, say that while the initiative augurs welcome signs for the city, the state government needs to take a host of measures to keep the momentum going in terms of decongesting Delhi roads and curbing pollution.
Traffic and road planning and pollution experts have listed a host of measures in order to accrue optimum benefits, including strengthening of public transport, improving and retrofitting road infrastructure, curbing other means of pollution besides implementing innovative measures like regulated carpooling mechanism, staggered leave and working hours, regulation on sale of cars and introduction of congestion tax.
While the fate of the second phase of odd-even scheme is still to be decided, Delhi Transport Corporation officials said the fleet of city buses would be back to its normal size after the scheme ends on Friday. “The contract of the extra buses will be over on January 15 and we will be back to normal frequency which we used to run before odd-even,” said RS Minhas, DTC spokesperson.
A Delhi Metro spokesperson, however, said “decision on frequency of trains will be taken after a review meeting post January 15”.
While the DTC had roped in additional 3000 buses for the scheme, the Metro increased frequency of trains by introducing 70 additional trips of trains, augmenting the daily carrying capacity by over 6 lakh. Similarly, the additional buses augmented the carrying capacity of buses from existing 48 lakh to 64 lakh.