Govt’s initiative may face many bumps on road

: A fast approaching deadline and little consultation ahead of the announcement has divided experts on the ‘bumpy’ road ahead for Delhi government’s decision to allow vehicles with odd and even number plates on alternate days.

Even as the Delhi government continues to keep the implementation cards close to its chest, The Hindu spoke to legal, road safety and environmental experts on Monday, the first working day after the announcement was made on December 4.

The foremost issue most experts said would be of getting a legal status for the scheme. While some such as environmental lawyer Sanjay Upadhyay said that merely an executive order was enough to make a change in the provision of Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules, 1993 which enables the State to draw power from the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, others disagree.

Explaining what he called a catch in the proposal, that makes it more complex because of the power structure of the Capital and the ban on movement which the government is seeking, said a source.

“Whenever a new tax or penalty is introduced in the Capital, an approval is needed from the Union Finance Ministry and the penal provision as is being discussed at the moment would be monetary in nature. Also had it been regulating public transport, the State could have gone ahead and imposed a fine but this is private transport and the State by itself does not have authority,” said the source.

He added that in such a situation, the proposal goes to the assembly which, given the one sided majority the ruling Aam Aadmi Party holds, would pass and after that it would go to the Finance Ministry.

S.K. Sharma, former Lok Sabha and Delhi Assembly secretary, also was of the view that since such a decision involves a lot of stakeholders, including the police and the municipal corporation.

“The Delhi Government’s order is not binding on the police, they can refuse citing manpower crunch. Then if you talk about half the vehicles which are parked, you need to discuss with the corporations and Public Welfare departments for making suitable arrangements so that no clogging is caused by stationary vehicles either,” said Mr. Sharma.

Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and a vocal supporter of the move, said she was confident that government would find a way and people will follow rules just the way they did when fines for traffic violations were hiked during Common Wealth Games in 2010.

Given the complex power structure of Delhi, foremost issue will be a legal status for the scheme

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 9:39:15 AM |

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