Delhi: air a little better, but strange, even to kick

NEW DELHI: After three years, the capital is ready to keep its date with the third edition of the odd and even road rationing scheme. Between November 4 and 15, cars with odd and even license plates will circulate on alternate days. While vehicles with odd numbers will be allowed on the roads of Delhi on odd dates, vehicles with even numbers will be allowed on even dates.

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Private diesel, gasoline and CNG cars will remain off the road for five days if their license plates end with an even number. Vehicles that have a registration number that ends with an odd number will be off the road for six days. 22

Two-wheelers, which make up the majority of all vehicles in Delhi, will remain exempt from the scheme like the previous editions, as will women.

The road rationing scheme is presented as an extreme measure at a time when the city is witnessing almost apocalyptic levels of the air pollution . On Saturday, however, the city's air quality improved and played very poorly with the air quality index playing 399, thanks to the increase in wind speed, decrease in stubble burning load, and some very light rain. More rains are expected from November 7, which should further improve air quality.

With only one day for the scheme to be implemented, last-minute preparations are being made, including the provision of private buses to increase the city's depleted public transport bus fleet and the training of more than 5,000 civil defense volunteers which will be deployed in 200 different locations throughout the city. More than 700 officials, including subdivision magistrates, law enforcement officials and transit inspectors of the Delhi Transportation Corporation (DTC), would be deployed in these 200 locations as Challan equipment. A force of 3,000 traffic police officers in Delhi would also ensure that motorists follow odd and even rules.

“On Monday, the focus will be more on raising awareness. Officials and volunteers will ask people who violate the odd peer rule to return to their homes and use public transportation, ”said an official.

With Delhi facing a bus shortage, the government has planned to hire 2,000 private buses to increase the public transport fleet. However, private bus owners do not seem to be very excited about the plan and so far only about 500 buses have been registered. Delhi needs around 11,000 buses, but only has a little more than 5,500.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will make 61 additional trips and a total of 5,100 trips through 294 trains. It will also display electronic messages in the odd even scheme in several subway stations. Additional labor will be deployed to manage the ticketing system due to the increase in the influx of people during the odd implementation.

The government also wants car users to opt for carpooling in a big way and app-based cabs are also expected to cater to the increased demand. The government has instructed app-based cab aggregators to suspend surge pricing for the duration of the odd even scheme . Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also recently appealed to autorickshaw drivers to ply by the meter and to not misbehave with passengers.

While women and two-wheelers have been exempted from the third edition of odd even scheme like the previous ones, CNG-run private vehicles have been kept outside the exemption list. Cars with children in school uniform have also been exempted, but parents coming back after dropping children or going to pick them in the afternoon will be allowed on roads based on ‘trust’. Similarly, cars violating the rules will be allowed on roads in case of medical emergencies, but again based on trust.

“The entire odd even scheme is based on trust. Last time, it was not successful because thousands of challans were issued, but because people had adopted it,” Kejriwal had said recently. “We expect full co-operation from people,” he added.

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