December,25,2015: Odd-Even Traffic Law Blue Print, India’s First War on Air Pollution in Capital Delhi is out.
Cars driven by women with no accompanying male aged above 12 years, VIP vehicles and two-wheelers were among those exempted from the odd-even traffic restriction plan to be rolled out from January 1 to 15.
Unveiling the final implementation plan, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday periodic reviews will be held to assess whether the list of those exempted needs to be changed. Some officials said the exemption on two-wheelers will apply only for the first week.
The Government has granted special powers to Delhi Police under the Motor Vehicles Act to impose a fine of Rs 2,000 on violators. A formal notification on the plan will be issued on Monday.
The CM, however, added that the odd-even formula would succeed in improving the city’s air quality only if Delhiites cooperate. If there are large scale violations, the government would have to suspend the plan.
“We can penalize only if everyone participates. If there are lots of violations and Delhiites do not wish to be a part of this plan, we will have to suspend it because we cannot fine everyone. Such moves require a cultural change and we cannot force people,” said Kejriwal.
What CM Arvind Kejriwal announced-
- Delhi Chief Minister and his family members not exempt from the law.
- Odd numbered cars to ply on odd dates, even numbered cars on even dates.
- Formal notification for Odd-Even Formula will be out on Monday (December 28)
- A fine of Rs 2000 will be imposed on people who violate the Odd-Even Formula.
- Odd-even policy will not be in effect on Sunday, it will be in force on other days from 8am to 8pm.
- Avoid strangers for car-pooling. Make groups of friends, relatives and colleagues for car pooling.
- Those on way to hospital for medical emergency should carry proof, vehicles of physically challenged should do so too.
- Exemption cases to Odd-Even Formula: Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, Governors of states/ Lt Governor, Chief Justice of India, Union Ministers.
- We need cooperation from Traffic Police. Please don’t allow jams to happen when you fine people.
- Will take a pledge on January 30 in Delhi schools where children will convince their parents to follow odd-even formula.
- 4000-5000 more buses to be pressed into service, metro frequency to increase.
- If the public transport is able to bear the pressure, and if the formula works, then we will see if we want to continue it.
- This scheme is for you, for your kids. We are all coughing. It is for the environment.
- Govt can take up an initiative but everyone needs to participate in Delhi to make those initiatives successful.
- No restriction on two-wheelers so far. But they may be brought under the ambit of the policy in the second phase.
- Vehicles bearing defence ministry number plates and those of Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees would not be covered by the rules under which cars bearing odd and even numbers would ply on alternate dates till January 15.
More than 10,000 volunteers from NSS, NCC and civil defence will also be stationed across the city to stop violators and persuade them to follow the restrictions. In a Gandhigiri gesture, they may also hand out a rose to each violator.
The Delhi CM has kept himself out of the exemptions, saying he will car pool with other ministers while two of them, deputy CM Manish Sisodia and tourism minister Kapil Mishra said they will cycle to work on days they cannot use their cars.
While the government has made elaborate plans to augment public transport during the two-week trial period, Kejriwal admitted it would still not be sufficient to meet the additional demand. The most practical alternative to personal vehicles is car pooling, he said.
“Public transport will not improve dramatically even though we are adding 4,000-5000 extra buses. Metro will operate on peak frequency, Around 10,000 new auto permits have been issued and the PoochO app has been launched. Those who will leave behind their cars will face problems and all of them cannot move to public transport. The practical solution is car pooling. Make arrangements with friends and family. In the next two to three days, we will also launch a car-pooling app,” said the CM.
The government is also banking on citizens to help with enforcement, requesting RWAs to sensitize residents and stop violators at colony gates.
On December 30, the CM will make school students take a pledge to reduce pollution in Delhi and prevail upon parents and elders to follow the odd-even formula. Parking attendants have also been told to not allow parking to those violating the rule.
“While driving, if you see a violator driving next to you, please check him. If 10 people do this, the person will at least think about what he is doing,” said Kejriwal.
Bus lanes have been marked on streets that are 100 feet or wider and buses will not be allowed to ply outside this lane. There will be heavy penalties on private vehicles found parked on the bus lane.
Similarly, autos will also be fined if they refuse to ply or overcharge.
“The government is not doing this on a whim. It is important because our pollution levels are terrible. This is just a means of reducing pollution,” said deputy CM Manish Sisodia.
“So, before asking who is exempt and what others will do, please think of your families and how they are suffering because of pollution. It is a sacrifice for only six to seven days. I will also request those mentioned in the exemption list to follow the odd-even formula,” he said.