Even as the Delhi government’s odd-even scheme faced its litmus test on the fourth day of its implementation, the city saw parents rushing their children to school earlier than usual to ensure that they returned home before the 8 am deadline.
Students usually start arriving at the Green Field Public School in Saket around 7.45 am because the school starts at 8.15 am. However, many parents could be seen dropping their children off before 7.30 am on Monday.
“Who’s going to pay the Rs 2,000 fine if I get caught driving back after 8 am? I will come to pick my son in an autorickshaw in the afternoon,” said Anant Singh, a resident of Sheikh Sarai.
Other parents were still undecided about how they planned to pick their children from school. “My wife comes with the driver to take our son from Amity International School in the afternoon. I don’t know what we will do today… probably show my son’s identity card if we get caught,” said Anurag, who lives in Sainik Farms.
Many others resorted to dropping their children off to school on motorbikes, considering that two-wheelers are exempt from the odd-even rule. A few took to car-pooling with other parents in a joint effort to ensure that their children got home on time.
“I have an odd-numbered car while another parent in my locality has an even-numbered one. We have decided to pick and drop our kids on alternate days,” said Prerna, whose son studies at Springdales, Pusa Road.
However, most parents were unanimous in the view that the odd-even rule – despite the good intentions behind it – was turning out to be a major inconvenience . “I can use my car to drop my daughter to school, but now I will be fined on every odd-numbered day that I go to pick her up. This is so illogical. I can use a private cab on odd days, but that’s going to cost me a lot of money,” said Ravi Sharma, a resident of Laxmi Nagar.