In a desperate bid to halve the teeming vehicular population of the National Capital , the Delhi government on Friday decided that vehicles with odd and even number plates would be allowed on alternate days only from January 1, 2016.
Delhi has more than 87 lakh vehicles, half of which hit the roads every day.
To ensure that commuters are not put to hardship, Delhi Metro services will be extended and school buses will be requisitioned even as efforts to expand the existing fleet of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) were underway.
Emergency vehicles such as ambulances will be out of the purview of the scheme. Commercial vehicles will be permitted to enter the Capital only after 10 p.m. instead of the current deadline of 9 p.m. The emergency meeting where the decision was taken was chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and came after a Delhi High Court observation that living in Delhi was akin to living in a gas chamber.
“This decision will have wider repercussions and before taking such harsh measures, the government should have first strengthened public transport and tried to work out a solution by taking the opinion of more stakeholders and experts,” said Dr. P.K Sarkar, Head of the Department of Transport Planning, School of Planning and Architecture.
Modalities related to the formulation of the scheme, which is in operation at several capitals across the globe including Beijing and Sao Paulo, are scheduled to be 'worked out urgently' by Principal Secretary (Transport) together with Secretary Environment and Revenue over the coming days.
While the Traffic Police, according to Delhi Chief Secretary K.K. Sharma, would “also be associated in this regard and invited to the meetings”, Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi complained that the Capital's law enforcement agency “was not consulted by the State Government” before announcing the decision.
In a report following the observance of the Capital's second instalment of Car Free Day on November 22, The Hindu had revealed that the Delhi government had decided to take the enforcement route to reduce vehicular traffic.
According to a source close to Mr. Kejriwal, who had declared that the entire city would be converted into a Car Free zone on January 22, 2016, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had stepped up efforts needed to institutionalise measures, including imposing a congestion charge and car-pooling, to dissuade owners of private cars from taking their vehicle out, in addition to adding more buses to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) fleet.
|1||Traffic Police to be roped in to implement the plan of allowing odd/even vehicles on alternate days.|
|2||Delhi Transport Corporation fleet to be augmented and frequency increased. School buses that operate for a limited period of the day might also be hired by DTC.|
|3||Delhi Metro will be requested to extend its operation timings in the late evening.|
|4||Public Works Department will begin vacuum cleaning of the dust from the roads in Delhi from April 1, 2016.|
|5||Extensive horticulture to be undertaken by the PWD to ensure open areas prone to generating dust are covered with greenery.|
|6||Badarpur and Rajghat Thermal Power Plants might get closed down.|
|7||Transport Department to finalise proposal to allow movement of trucks in Delhi from 10.00/11.00 PM instead of 9.00 PM.|
|8||Outside trucks entering Delhi that don't follow Delhi's ‘Pollution Under Control’ norms will be penalised.|
|9||Delhi government's Swachh Bharat App to be modified to include crowd-source complaints regarding visibly polluting vehicles, burning of bio-mass, garbage, leaves, etc.|
|10||Cut-off date for implementation of Euro-VI emission norms for Delhi have been advanced to January 1, 2017 instead of January 1, 2019.|
|11||MCD parkings on PWD roads that lead to traffic chaos will be closed down.|