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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Odd-even curbs will be lifted on November 11, 12 to avoid possible commuting woes

The anniversary, which falls on November 12, is being celebrated with a grand Nagar Kirtan — a custom involving processional singing of Sikh hymns — on November 11.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2019 05:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal addresses the media during a press conference in the presence of Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, at Delhi Secretariat, in New Delhi, on Friday, November 8, 2019.
Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal addresses the media during a press conference in the presence of Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, at Delhi Secretariat, in New Delhi, on Friday, November 8, 2019. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
         

Residents of the Capital will be exempted from the odd-even road rationing restrictions on November 11(Monday) and 12(Tuesday) to spare them from potential commuting hassles during celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

The anniversary, which falls on November 12, is being celebrated with a grand Nagar Kirtan — a custom involving processional singing of Sikh hymns — on November 11.

“Lakhs of people from the Sikh community are expected to join the celebrations. Several Sikh delegations came to me requesting for the scheme not to be enforced for two days. We agreed,” Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday.

Earlier this week, Sikh delegations, including one led by Tilak Nagar legislator Jarnail Singh, met Delhi’s transport and environment minister Kailash Gahlot and urged him to not enforce the odd-even scheme for the two days. On November 6, the proposal was forwarded to Kejriwal’s office, senior government officials said.

Now that the two-day suspension has been approved, the odd-even scheme will not be enforced for three consecutive days – Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The scheme was not supposed to be implemented on Sundays in any case.

Under the odd-even scheme, enforced to improve the quality of the city’s usually toxic air, private cars with licence plates ending in even numbers are allowed to ply on even dates and those with odd numbers on odd dates between 8am and 8pm from Monday to Saturday. Cars driven by women and those with children in school uniforms are exempt. Violations are punishable with a ~4,000 fine.

The third edition of the scheme in Delhi went underway on November 4 and will continue until November 15. Although odd-even is an emergency measure to tackle air pollution, listed under the Graded Action Response Plan prepared by a Supreme Court-appointed authority, its latest edition was implemented in Delhi as a proactive measure by the city government.

Delhi’s air quality dipped to “emergency” levels last week, forcing the government to direct schools in the city to suspend classes. Air quality improved a bit after November 4, when the odd-even scheme took off, assisted by meteorological factors. On Friday, Delhi’s air quality remained in the “very poor” category.