Women are likely to be exempted from the second round of the odd-even car rationing scheme to be implemented from April 15 to 30.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Swati Maliwal urged transport minister Gopal Rai to exempt women, saying the public transport system was not in a good shape.
“We sought exemption for women drivers considering their safety. We suggested elderly drivers and children below 18 years travelling with a woman driver be exempted from the odd-even policy,” Maliwal said.
Women groups were consulted on Tuesday. Many said the concession for women should continue but some argued against it.
Maliwal said she and other women members of the commission will use public transport when the odd-even policy kicks in.
A final decision on the exemption will be taken on Wednesday after a coordination committee constituted by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal submits its report to the cabinet.
“There is a need to improve public transport and ensure safety for women before making women part of odd-even,” said a transport department official.
Maliwal said that 200 of the 218 women participants in the consultation wanted exemption.
Parminder Kaur Malhotra, a resident, said that during the first round of odd-even, schools were closed but this time they are open and women will pick up their children.
Assembly deputy speaker Bandana Kumari and AAP women MLA Alka Lamba voted for exemption.
“The overwhelming opinion at the meet was that the time was not right to remove exemption for women. The reasons were poor safety, lack of good public transport and poor last-mile connectivity. Also, women as caregivers usually pick up and drop children to school,” said Kalpana Viswanath, co-founder of Safetipin.
Safetipin is a mobile application that helps people rate an area based on its safety.
“These concerns are real. I suggested the government introduce a new step towards women safety in each phase of odd-even so that eventually the exemption may be done away with,” Viswanath, who was part of the panel, said.
Some women said the government should not exempt women. Tine, a resident of Dwarka, said that women should help the government deal with the rising pollution levels.