The stage is set, the enforcement plans are in place and the Aam Aadmi Party government is brimming with optimism — despite mixed reviews about its two-hour trial run — on the eve of rolling out its novel odd-even vehicle rationing experiment here.
Even as he presided over final touches related to the scheme, Transport Minister Gopal Rai appealed to the citizens of the Capital to make it a success as it intended to clear the city’s polluted air for their own children.
Rubbishing the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s claims that the experiment – the first of its kind to ever be attempted in the Capital – was bound to fail, Mr. Rai said the government would not be deterred from its objective and did not care for such “conspiracies” and Delhiites would not suffer any undue harassment.
“As many as 200 teams of Civil Defence volunteers will be deployed at as many locations, while 45 teams of the Delhi Transport Corporation 29 teams of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and 15 teams of the DIMTS have been formed to ensure minimal inconvenience and effective enforcement of the scheme,” Mr. Rai said at a press conference on Thursday.
Assuring drivers that volunteers “will not stop any moving vehicles” or gang up on violators, the Transport Minister said the role of volunteers would mainly consist of offering a rose and advice to them at traffic intersections.
Violating the scheme’s provisions, as has been announced earlier, will lead to a Rs.2,000 on-the-spot fine. Restrictions based on the odd-even rule will also apply at parking lots across the city as per an announcement to this effect made on Wednesday.
Mr. Rai, who is scheduled to board a DTC bus himself to evaluate the goings-on related to the experiment on the ground on Friday morning, said 3,000 additional buses – 1,800 of which have been procured from schools – would be pressed into service to cater to an estimated 20 lakh passengers between January 1 and January 15.
These would be operated in addition to the public transporter’s fleet of 4,600 regular and 1,400 cluster buses even as the Delhi Metro will markedly increase the existing frequency of its trains on all routes. A special express service for residents of other locations across the National Capital Region employed in the Capital will also be functional, Mr. Rai pointed out.
“We will run 60 buses for Noida and Gurgaon each. They will ply between Gurgaon and Noida covering several parts of Delhi like Dhaula Kuan. Special buses will be plied from Rohini to Noida, Uttam Nagar to Noida, Dwarka to Noida and Punjabi Bagh to Noida, Rohini to Gurgaon, Nehru Place to cater to commuters,” he said.
Sources: The Hindu