Govt to soon take call on odd-even exemptions
New Delhi: Even as chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has sought transport department’s views on giving exemption to women drivers, two-wheeler riders and CNG vehicles in odd-even road rationing scheme next month, the officials have already started the preparations.
Sources said that the transport department is getting 7 lakh stickers for CNGrun private cars to ensure they are visible from a distance and allowed to ply without any hindrance if these vehicles get exemption from the road rationing rule.
The odd-even scheme is likely to be implemented between November 4 and 15 when air pollution levels start deteriorating due to stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab.
Kejriwal had announced a seven-point action plan for Delhi last month to deal with air pollution, which included distribution of face masks and road rationing scheme among others. Under the scheme, vehicles will ply alternately on odd and even dates as per their registration numbers.
According to officials, the distribution of stickers will begin from October 15 at 70 CNG pumps in the capital. Since there were reports of largescale misuse of exemption given to CNG vehicles in previous editions of odd-even in January and April 2016, Kejriwal has asked the officials to find a foolproof way of identifying genuine cars running on the green fuel.
“These stickers will have hidden features, which can be read by special reader machines given to the enforcement officials. The department will also prepare a mobile app, which will have the data of all vehicles which will be given the CNG stickers. In case of any confusion, the enforcement agencies will refer to that data to identify if the vehicle is carrying a genuine sticker,” said an official.
The government will also deploy about 5,500 civil defence volunteers at 200 locations during the 12-day drive to create awareness about odd-even and air pollution in the city.
Like the last two editions of the road-rationing scheme in 2016, the government may exempt women drivers and two-wheelers along with CNG-vehicles this year as well. The chief minister on Monday asked the transport department to give its views on exemptions within three days after reviewing several aspects, including the current capacity of the public transport network. On the basis of the department’s views, the government will take a decision on exemptions, officials said.
In the previous edition of the scheme, all two-wheelers had been exempted from the alternate day bar on plying on the roads. The women drivers were kept out of the rule considering that they feel a sense of security in their own vehicles for travelling.
According to an estimate, 70 lakh two-wheelers ply in Delhi. If they are not exempted, it will lead to over 35 lakh persons, other than lakhs of 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 exempted this year too,” a statement issued by the government said.
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