In the wake of the Centre notifying a graded response plan to counter air pollution, Delhi Transport Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday said that the odd-even scheme would be implemented within days if air pollution touched ‘emergency’ levels in the Capital and may also, in a first, have two-wheelers under its ambit.
The announcement comes even as Mr. Jain admitted in a written reply to Leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had no plans to add new buses to the ailing fleet of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) this year.
The Minister said that while rolling out the scheme at short notice would be challenging, the government would abide by the guidelines approved by the Supreme Court.
“Odd-even will have to brought in as per levels of pollution. If it crosses a certain level, we will enforce it. We had told the Centre that the Delhi government will need at least seven days in this regard, but the notification demands that the measure be imposed within two days,” Mr. Jain said.
The Minister also added that while the government could enforce the scheme, challenges would persist in relation to sensitising the general public.
Under the plan, the road rationing scheme and a halt on construction activities may be imposed across the national capital region if air quality reached and remained at the “emergency” level for 48 hours.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jain told the Delhi Assembly that there was no proposal to add new buses to the DTC and no new bus has been added to the fleet of the public transporter in the last two years.
In a written reply to a question by Mr. Gupta during the ongoing winter session, the Transport Minister said the government had made a plan to run new buses (orange) under the Cluster Scheme in which private players would provide the buses.