Cars driven by women and those running on cleaner fuel as well as two wheelers will be exempted from the Delhi government’s odd-even restrictions between January 1 and January 15 that aims at cleaning Delhi’s polluted air.
The government on Thursday is set to issue the notification that details the plan for the 15 days when odd and even cars and other vehicles will be off roads on alternate days. It had earlier said all modalities would be decided by December 25.
The plan to restrict the movement of vehicles was announced by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on December 4 in he wake of increasing concerns over Delhi’s rising pollution.
Bikes and scooters
The government will keep two-wheelers out of the odd-even restrictions entirely keeping in mind the state of public transport in the national capital.
“The simple reason for keeping two-wheelers out of the system is that our public transport is not strong enough to provide a viable option. People in cars will carpool but those who travel in bikes and scooters will have to move to public transport. Once we have strengthened our public transport capabilities, the ambit of the restriction will be increased,” a senior government said.
Kejriwal too had hinted at exempting bikes and scooters because of weak public transport in his first radio spot regarding the new system.
CNG, electric cars
In an effort to make its position clear on clean fuel, the government will most likely exempt CNG cars from the odd-even pilot plan. However, it remains to be seen how the government will execute it since there are no clear markings that differentiate petrol and diesel cars from CNG vehicles.
“How this will be worked out is being decided by the government and the agencies concerned. Clear indications on CNG vehicles seem to be the most logical way as of now,” the official said.
Electric cars will also be exempt.
Cars driven by women and those that only have women occupants will be exempted. But it is not clear if cars driven by women with male companions will also be exempted.
Safety is the biggest reason to exempt these cars even though a few NGOs have written to the government against exempting a section of women (those who have the capacity to buy and drive cars) from the system.
Government vehicles on duty
Cars belonging to Delhi Police, army vehicles, emergency services vehicles belonging to the central government and Delhi government vehicles on duty will be exempted from the restrictions. Cars of chief ministers of other states will also be able to ply on all days.
“Transport vehicles, in essence, are not exempt,” said the official.
Vehicles of the Delhi chief minister, state ministers and MLAs will not be exempted.
“As has been made very clear by the chief minister already, this government will lead by example. The focus is on expanding the public transport system and once this is done, the ambit of the restrictions will also increase. In any case, it has been made clear that the system is on trial basis only for 15 days. If it doesn’t work, the government will work out another way,” the official added.