New Delhi: The odd-even rationing scheme will make its return to the national capital from today and will be in effect till November 15. The implementation of the scheme comes even as air quality index (AQI) continued to stay in ‘severe’ category in Delhi on Sunday, finally triggering an intervention by the Centre.
Earlier, the scheme was effected in Delhi in 2016, from January 1-15 and April 15-30.
Like the first two times, this time, too, women drivers will be exempted from the purview of the scheme, which will be in effect from 8 AM-8 PM; on Sunday, it would cease to be in effect. Also exempted from the scheme are cars with all women occupants, women drivers accompanied by children less than 12 years old and vehicles with children in school uniforms. Similarly, VVIPs and emergency vehicles, too, will be exempted from the scheme.
However, unlike last two times, private-owned CNG cars will not be exempted. Also, members of the Delhi government shall come under the purview of the scheme. Those violating rules will have to pay a penalty of Rs 4,000, up from Rs 2,000 in 2016. In order to make public transport convenient for commuters, the Delhi Metro will make extra trips, while 2,000 private buses will also be pressed into service. Cab aggregators Ola and Uber will deactivate surge pricing. Around 300 traffic inspectors and assistant traffic inspectors (ATIs) would be deployed in two shifts during the drive
On Sunday, a blanket of haze, massive even by current standards, engulfed Delhi and its satellite cities. Schools in Noida, Gurugram and Faridabad have been ordered shut till November 5, while schools in Delhi are already closed. Also on Sunday, 37 flights were diverted to Jaipur, Lucknow and Amritsar from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. It is hoped that the odd-even scheme might help bring some respite from the current crisis.
The odd-even scheme is a flagship scheme of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi and was devised in 2015. Under it, as the name suggests, vehicles with registration number ending in odd digit will be allowed on odd dates; similarly, on even dates, vehicles with registration number ending with an even digit would be allowed to ply.