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  India   Women set to lose exemption in Odd-Even 2

Women set to lose exemption in Odd-Even 2

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Feb 11, 2016, 5:38 am IST
Updated : Feb 11, 2016, 5:38 am IST

Comeback likely in April, 2-wheelers may be left out

Comeback likely in April, 2-wheelers may be left out

The Delhi government is likely to not grant an exemption to women drivers in the second phase of the “odd-even” car rationing formula that is expected in April, after the board examinations in the city’s schools are over by the end of March. The scheme that was rolled out on January 1 for 15 days is all set to make a comeback, the dates for which will be announced by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday.

 

Sources said that in the second phase of the AAP government’s ambitious scheme, women drivers could lose the exemption they enjoyed during the first phase in January. But two-wheelers are likely to be kept out again, sources said, as the government does not want to overload the already-burdened public transport system, they said.

With the city all set to undergo the second round of the “odd-even” experiment, there are indications that it may be implemented in April after the Class 10 and Class 12 board examinations. Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai said the government will make the announcement after reviewing over 11 lakh responses received from the public through multiple channels.

 

Year 2016 began with a court-ordered attempt to cut Delhi’s toxic smog. The AAP government’s car rationing scheme was an attempt to cut vehicular emissions and private cars were directed to ply on alternate days. For a fortnight, cars with odd-numbered plates were allowed on the road on odd-numbered dates; even-numbered cars on even-numbered dates. There were no restrictions on Sundays.

“Dilli mangey dil se, odd-even phir se (Delhi wants odd-even again, from the bottom of its heart),” said deputy CM Manish Sisodia, claiming that the national capital was longing for a return of the “odd-even” formula. He said the public, in an overwhelming response to the call for feedback, sent 12 lakh suggestions to the government’s website as well as 9,000 emails. The top 20 suggestions were presented to the chief minister on Wednesday.

 

According to a survey, Delhiites would not mind another round of the “odd-even” car-rationing scheme, with 78 per cent seeking the plan’s re-introduction in the city while around 53 per cent wanted its implementation for good. Interestingly, 92 per cent of those supporting its return said they would not buy a second car if the scheme returned.

The findings have been published by change.org, an online petition website, based on the responses of 13,500 residents of Delhi. The survey was undertaken between January 28 and February 9. “Almost 13,500 Delhiites participated in the survey, out of whom 10,514 were in favour of the scheme while 2,940 of them voted against it,” said Preethi Herman, India head of the portal.

 

Sources said a stiff fine will continue in the second round, but the government could also reward those who followed the odd-even scheme despite being exempted. Supreme Court judges won praise in the last round for car-pooling despite being kept out of the scheme.

Experts differ on whether the traffic restrictions in January reduced pollution in the city; the courts pointed out that more public transport was needed; commuters said Metro trains were packed but driving suddenly became far easier than it was for years.

The AAP government completes its first year in office on Sunday, February 14, when Cabinet ministers will join Mr Kejriwal on stage to take calls from residents for a couple of hours.

 

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi