Odd-Even back in Delhi this November, here’s how public transport is preparing
Delhi will need its public transport system to seamlessly service those affected by the return of the Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme between November 4-15, while the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has announced it will get ready to handle the extra passenger load, experts hope that the capital’s transport department, DTC’s existing fleet, proves to be up to the task.
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), which is awaiting addition of 4000 new buses, has only received the first lot of 25 new buses so far, as the rest are to be added in batches till 2020. It is only a minor addition to its existing fleet of 5454 buses.
In January 2016, during the first phase of Odd-Even vehicle rationing, DTC had 4500 buses, less than it has today, but it was then said to be aided by vacations in schools, which put considerable strain on the agency’s resources.
Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has also announced introduction of 1,000 electric buses and promised a bus aggregator policy soon.
“If you enforce Odd-Even for a long time, the implementation becomes troublesome. As of now, Odd-Even will only be restricted to this time frame,” said Kejriwal.
Union transport minister Gadkari terms Kejriwal’s Odd-Even plan ‘unncessary’
Amit Bhatt, director of integrated transport at the non-profit World Resources Institute (WRI) India, said the number of public buses required in Delhi may not be enough but it may still be able to handle the extra load during the odd-even period, thanks to the various exemptions allowed in the scheme.
“Last time the government had exempted women, two-wheelers and a section of clean fuel users. This means that you have to accommodate an additional demand from only 10% of the population, who are car users. This is not difficult,” Bhatt said.
Bhatt added that the existing public transport infrastructure could cope through more efficient use of Delhi Metro and by promoting car sharing.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said on Friday that they will prepare a comprehensive plan to accommodate the increase in passenger volume.
Since 2016, the Delhi Metro has added over 100 kms to its network. New corridors such as the Pink Line that connects Shiv Vihar to Majlis Park and the Magenta Line connecting Botanical Garden in Noida to Janakpuri West have broadened the metro connectivity along with expansion of the older routes.
“In 2016, between January 1 and January 15, the DMRC ran 3,192 total trips against 2,827 trips on usual days,” the DMRC said in a statement.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Odd-Even scheme was aimed at combating high levels of air pollution in winters due to crop burning in the neighbouring states.
He also announced a seven-point action plan including distribution of masks, mechanised sweeping of roads, tree plantation, and plan to reduce pollution at 12 hot spots in the city.