Gahlot directs DTC to gear up for implementation of scheme, chalk out plan.
New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party government might re-introduce the odd-even vehicle-rationing scheme in the national capital as the air quality in the Delhi and the National Capital Region is getting worse ahead of winter. The scheme was first introduced in January last year to tackle the rising levels of air pollution in the city.
In a letter, Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to gear up for implementation of the odd-even scheme under which private vehicles with odd registration numbers will be allowed to run on odd dates and those with even numbers will run on even dates.
Weekends and public holidays are exempted from the vehicle-rationing scheme.
The minister also directed the DTC to “chalk out an action plan for procurement of buses/conductors and submit the same within seven days”.
“With the increase in pollution level in Delhi the government may have to resort to emergency measures, including implementation of the odd-even scheme,” the letter read.
“It is, therefore, essential that the transport department/DTC/DIMTS are fully geared up for implementation of the scheme as and when the same is announced,” it stated.
Last week, the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority, a body empowered to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan, had said it would not hesitate to enforce the “odd-even” plan, order cars off roads, and shut schools if needed.
According to Gahlot, procurement of additional buses by the DTC would be the “main component” of readiness in case the odd-even scheme is implemented.
A major challenge in implementing the scheme is poor public transport facility, despite a well-developed Delhi Metro network.
The DTC has a fleet of around 4,000 buses, while the Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transit System (DIMTS) runs over 1,600 buses under the cluster scheme. Experts estimate that the city needs about 11,000 buses to cover all areas.
First implemented by the AAP-run Delhi government on January 1, 2016, the scheme dictates that private vehicles will be allowed to ply across the city on the basis of their registration numbers. As per the scheme, vehicles with registration numbers ending with an odd digit will be allowed to ply on the roads on alternate days barring vehicles with registration numbers ending with an even digit to ply on the same day and vice-versa.