No ex­emp­tion for pri­vate CNG ve­hi­cles dur­ing odd-even this time

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City -

The sugges­tions of the depart­ment re­gard­ing odd-even road ra­tioning plan have been ap­proved by trans­port min­is­ter Kailash Gahlot, sources said, and sent to the chief min­is­ter for a fi­nal de­ci­sion.

A trans­port of­fi­cial said the depart­ment dis­cussed all cat­e­gories of ve­hi­cles to firm up its fi­nal sugges­tions. “It was de­cided that women driv­ers should con­tinue to en­joy ex­emp­tion from the scheme as it is im­por­tant from the safety point of view,” an of­fi­cial said.

The ra­tio­nale be­hind ex­empt­ing women from the pre­vi­ous edi­tion of the scheme 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.

All ve­hi­cles driven by women, with women as co-trav­ellers or school­go­ing chil­dren in uni­form up to the age of 12 are likely to be ex­empt, in or­der to en­sure that moth­ers are free to ferry their chil­dren to and from school. Ke­jri­wal had di­rected the depart­ment to con­sider the im­ple­men­ta­tion of this ex­emp­tion and share its views on re­peat­ing the same for this year’s odd-even.

In pre­vi­ous edi­tions of the scheme, all two-wheel­ers had been ex­empt and the depart­ment felt the ex­emp­tion should con­tinue par­tially. “We have sug­gested that two-wheel­ers should only be ex­empt dur­ing of­fice hours, that is, from 8am to 11am and 5pm to 8pm” the of­fi­cial said.

The rea­son the ex­emp­tion for two-wheel­ers is likely to con­tinue is be­cause the city’s pub­lic trans­port sys­tem is not ro­bust enough to ac­com­mo­date the in­creased load. Delhi has over 70 lakh twowheel­ers. If these are not ex­empt, over 35 lakh per­sons, other than lakhs of pil­lion riders, will have to switch to pub­lic trans­port and the Delhi Metro and bus fleet will not be able to cater to this surge, the of­fi­cial said.

All CNG-run ve­hi­cles en­joyed ex­emp­tion in the past but that may change this time around. The Delhi gov­ern­ment’s trans­port depart­ment has said that non-com­mer­cial CNGrun ve­hi­cles should not be kept out of the odd-even re­stric­tions.

“There have been re­ports of largescale mis­use of this ex­emp­tion in the pre­vi­ous edi­tions of odd-even. Also, traf­fic po­lice per­son­nel find it very dif­fi­cult to iden­tify CNG-run ve­hi­cles from a dis­tance as the CNG stick­ers on wind­shields are not promi­nently vis­i­ble till the ve­hi­cle comes very close,” the of­fi­cial said.

“The trans­port depart­ment has also sug­gested that there should be stag­gered tim­ings for of­fices, start­ing with Delhi gov­ern­ment of­fices. We have sug­gested that all Delhi gov­ern­ment of­fices should open at 11am and close at 7.30pm,” he said.

Oth­ers who will con­tinue to en­joy the ex­emp­tion in­clude the ve­hi­cles of the pres­i­dent, vice-pres­i­dent, Prime Min­is­ter, cen­tral min­is­ters, chief jus­tice of In­dia, ve­hi­cles of gov­er­nors and chief min­is­ters of other states, em­bassy ve­hi­cles and those bear­ing min­istry of de­fence num­ber plates.

The Delhi gov­ern­ment had ear­lier im­ple­mented the odd-even scheme twice – in Jan­uary and April 2016 – while the third edi­tion in De­cem­ber 2017 had to be called off at the last mo­ment af­ter the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal re­fused to ex­empt two wheel­ers from the scheme, say­ing that there shall be no ex­emp­tion to any per­sons, of­fi­cer and in­di­vid­ual and the two-wheel­ers from the am­bit and scope of the odd-even scheme.

The odd-even scheme was in­tro­duced by the Aam Aadmi Party gov­ern­ment as a novel mea­sure to com­bat ve­hic­u­lar pol­lu­tion, es­pe­cially dur­ing the win­ter sea­son. In the scheme, odd and even num­bered ve­hi­cles ply on al­ter­nate work­ing days.

Un­der the graded re­sponse ac­tion plan (GRAP), it is to be im­ple­mented when the par­tic­u­late mat­ter PM10 and PM2.5 rise to 500 mi­cro­gram per cu­bic me­tre and 300 mi­cro­gram per cu­bic me­tre, re­spec­tively, for 48 hours.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.