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Odd-even 3.0 to combat Delhi smog: All you need to know about the previous drives

The odd-even scheme, based on the last digit of the vehicle’s registration number of vehicles, has been implemented twice before in Delhi in 2016 -- from January 1-15 and April 15-30.

Breathe Delhi Updated: Nov 09, 2017 16:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi air pollution,Odd even,Traffic rationing
Vehicles drive slowly as visibility falls due to smog in Mayur Vihar, New Delhi.(Sushil Kumar/HT File Photo)

The Delhi government will bring back the odd- even scheme from November 13-17 as a part of the city’s plan to combat the dense smog enveloping its skies since Tuesday.

Delhi has twice implemented the odd-even scheme in sweeping measures to reduce the city’s record-high air pollution by limiting the number of cars on streets. Details about the implementation of scheme’s third round will be announced later on Thursday, the government said.

Here’s all you need to know about the traffic rationing measure:

What is the odd-even scheme?

Those with registration numbers ending in odd digits are allowed to ply on odd dates and those ending in even digits run on even dates.

The scheme to fight the Capital’s toxic air was largely inspired by the Beijing model, which was introduced ahead of the Summer Olympics in 2008.

Timing for the first two odd-even rounds: 8am to 8pm, not applicable on Sundays.

Fine: Violators were fined Rs 2,000 on the spot, but there was no impounding of vehicles.

Exemptions: CNG and electric cars, two-wheelers, cars driven by women and vehicles with a woman driver with a male companion below 12 were exempted from the scheme.

Vehicles being used for medical emergencies, occupied/driven by people with disabilities,VVIP and enforcement cars were also allowed to run on all days.

However, women who were kept out of the drive earlier may now have to follow the plan too.

Cops wear masks while managing traffic at ITO in New Delhi. ( Arun Sharma/HT File Photo )

First edition

The 15-day traffic rationing scheme that began January 1, 2016 was touted as a success by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government. High compliance was witnessed during the scheme’s implementation and over 9,000 challans were issued by the transport department.

Although the government claimed pollution levels were down and Delhi was relatively traffic congestion free, experts were sceptical about its impact without conclusive evidence. Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), a think-tank, found pollution levels were nearly identical in the two weeks. It also said the daily average number of vehicles on roads was higher in five areas of Delhi in comparison with the last week of December 2015, according to a Livemint report.

Odd-even 2.0

The second phase of odd-even was rolled out in Delhi on April 15, 2016. The government cracked down on violators this time, with over 2,000 fines collected in the first two days. Problems were amplified because unlike the previous round, schools were not shut and the government added people driving with schoolchildren in uniform in its exemption list.

The second round fell way short of expectations likely because there were an additional four lakh cars and 1.3 lakh two-wheelers on the roads as compared with the maiden edition, according to a report made by a government-appointed panel. Studies said pollution levels were higher, although odd-even wasn’t to be blamed for that.

The Delhi chief minister, too, admitted the odd-even drive wasn’t a permanent solution.

(This article was first published in October 2017. It has been updated since)

First Published: Oct 26, 2017 16:13 IST