Women drivers, two-wheelers may get odd-even exemption

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Dec 29, 2015 17:00 IST
Two-wheelers may not have to follow odd-even rule. (Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

Women drivers and two-wheelers are likely to be exempted from the odd-even rule for private vehicles in the Capital, the Arvind Kejriwal government’s road rationing formula to reduce the number of vehicles in the city reeling under heavy air pollution.

The Delhi government earlier this week decided that all private cars, barring taxis and autorickshaws, with registration numbers ending with an odd figure (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) will be allowed to ply only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in a week. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are marked for those having an even number (2, 4, 6, 8 or 0.)

The alternate-day rule does not apply on Sundays — at least till some other decision is taken.

Chief minister Kejriwal clarified that the formula will be tried for 15 days from January 1 and discontinued if people face problems. His clarification came after people, especially social media, questioned how the restrictions could be imposed when the national capital doesn’t have adequate infrastructure such as a robust public transport system.

The city has 2.7 million private cars and 5.8 million two-wheelers, official data shows. Come January 1, half of these — around 4.3 million vehicles — will be off the road daily, which means millions of people will need some mode of transport to get by.

These numbers do not include hundreds of thousands of people who drive to the Capital for work or business from the neighbouring states.

Emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, and battery-operated and CNG-powered private can be driven every day.

A report in the Hindu suggests that women drivers too are likely to be exempted from the rule because safety is a major problem in Delhi. Several women have asked the AAP government to exempt them from the ban, citing safety concerns.

Another report in DNA suggests, the government is planning to fix certain hours — ranging from morning peak hours to evening — when commuters will have to follow the restrictions, instead of making it a 24-hour rule.

A public interest litigation challenging the government’s decision has been filed in the high court.

The PIL, which will be heard on Wednesday, seeks a stay on the decision to allow even and odd-numbered cars to ply in the city on alternate days.

On Monday, Delhi home minister Satyendar Jain said the odd-even formula will not be applicable to two-wheelers, although bikes and scooters account for 31% of vehicular pollution in the city — against 20% by cars.

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