New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday asked the Transport department to send him the views on providing exemptions to a segment of vehicles during the proposed Odd-Even scheme, asking if women, two-wheelers and CNG vehicles should be allowed to move during the road rotational scheme.
The city will witness the implementation of Odd-Even scheme between November 4 and 15, as a part of a comprehensive Parali and Winter Action Plan for the national capital.
As the Delhi government gears up to implement the Action Plan, the question of which segments of vehicle drivers should be exempted from the alternate day bar on odd and even number plate registered vehicles is being discussed at length, an official statement said.
“In light of the varied views on this matter among the public as well as the departments concerned, the chief minister has sought clarity from the Transport department well in advance. Kejriwal has asked the department to submit its views to him within the next three days,” the statement said.
This will be the third time that the city will see the implementation of the scheme. In 2016, when the scheme was implemented twice, all vehicles that had only women passengers were exempt from the rule to ensure safety.
“The rationale then was that women in Delhi feel a sense of security in their own vehicles for travelling and should be permitted to take the safest mode of transport. Additionally, all vehicles with women drivers and male school-going children wearing school uniforms were also exempt, in order to ensure mothers are free to ferry their children to and from school,” the government said.A
The chief minister has directed the Transport department to consider the implementation of this exemption and share its views on repeating the same for this year’s Odd-Even.
Also, earlier, all two-wheelers and CNG vehicles were exempt from the scheme.
“While this significantly helped manage traffic on the city’s public transportation system, some experts had expressed reservations against the exemption. The government believed then that with the current capacity of the city’s buses and Metro rail, it was not possible to carry such a large number of people on the public transport network,” the statement added.
The latest estimate for the number of two-wheelers that ply in Delhi is over 70 lakh.A
“If the two-wheelers are not exempt, it will lead to lakh of people, including pillion riders, to switch to public transport every day. The Chief Minister has asked the department to review the current capacity of the public transport network and state its views on whether or not two-wheelers should be exempt this year,” the statement said.A
For CNG, the government said, it was allowed last time as CNG vehicle emissions are substantially less polluting than diesel or petrol vehicles.
“However, when the CNG vehicles were permitted the last time, there were reports of large-scale misuse of the exemption.”
The statement added Kejriwal is concerned that the scheme may fail to achieve its purpose if people bypass the restrictions by using wrongfully procured CNG stickers to evade punishment.
“Kejriwal has asked the department to formulate a position on this matter after duly considering views of Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) and officials involved in the distribution of CNG stickers.
“The department should consider whether there is any foolproof way of identifying genuine CNG vehicles and in the absence of such a methodology, what are the views of the department on the exemption granted to CNG vehicles.”
For smooth implementation of the scheme, Kejriwal believes that serious advance planning is important.
“The CM has directed the department to formulate its positions on the issue of exemptions in the next 3 days. The government will take a decision on exemptions after studying the department’s views,” the statement added.