New Delhi: On the first day of Delhi’s much-lauded pollution-control ‘Odd-Even’ car scheme, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vijay Goel on Monday was halted for driving an odd-numbered car as a mark of protest.
“This scheme is just a gimmick, they(Delhi Govt) themselves say pollution is due to stubble burning, then how does this scheme help? I am ready to pay the fine for violation”, said Goel as a challan was issued in his name for violating the government’s mandatory rule.
As pollution levels scream an emergency with a three-year-high across the national capital region and surrounding areas, several government officials were seen following Kejriwal’s odd-even scheme that has been implemented till November 15.
On Sunday, hours before the scheme rolled out, Goel claimed that the car rule was nothing but “an election stunt and drama” in view of the upcoming assembly polls in the national capital.
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“With exemptions to 70 lakh two-wheelers, cab aggregators Ola and Uber, three-wheelers and women drivers, the odd-even scheme has been rendered a mere gimmick and an election stunt,” he had said.
However, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reacted to the protest saying that Goel did not realise the “seriousness” of the air quality problems in the city.
This is not the first time the BJP leader is protesting the Odd-Even scheme. The Rajya Sabha member had violated the rule even in April 2016 when the scheme was introduced by the Kejriwal government and paid a fine of Rs. 2000.
Notably, the air quality in several parts of Delhi NCR reached the 999 mark, in the ‘hazardous category’, while in other parts of the capital the AQI remains ‘severe’ with a thick blanket of smog. Schools and colleges have been shut till November 5 in view of the situation.