Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced that women will be exempted from the “odd-even” vehicle rationing scheme that will be implemented in the national capital during 4-15 November this year.
However, private CNG vehicles, which were exempted from this scheme during its previous editions in 2016, will not be given exemption this time, the CM said.
Addressing a press conference at the Delhi Secretariat, Kejriwal said, “Keeping the security of women in mind, we have decided to exempt women from the odd-even scheme. Women driving alone, cars having all women occupants or those vehicles with women drivers and children below the age of 12 will be exempt.”
On the change in the policy for private CNG vehicles, the CM said, “In the previous editions of odd-even, CNG vehicles were exempt. But we observed that the CNG stickers used on vehicles were sold in the black market and misused by some people to bypass the odd-even scheme. This defeats the very purpose of odd-even scheme.”
On the question of exemption for two-wheelers, Kejriwal conceded that two-wheelers pollute the city’s air and that there is a view that they should not be exempt from the odd-even rule.
But, at the same time, given the staggering number of two-wheelers in Delhi and the city’s limited public transportation capacity, it might not be practical to take half of them off the roads on a day, he said.
“However, a decision on two-wheelers has not been taken yet. The government is trying to resolve the contradiction on this issue. In principle, we have decided to stagger office timings. We are consulting experts on this issue and will share more information when the decision is taken,” Kejriwal said.
Commenting on the fines that will be levied on those violating the odd-even rule, Kejriwal said, “Our aim will not be to heavily fine violators, but to request them to follow the rule. However, violators will be liable to pay fines are per the New Motor Vehicles Act. We are looking into what the quantum of the fine shall be.”
Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot said, “Our government will engage 2000 private buses for the odd-even period for the additional load at Rs 50 per km. We have also met the Uber authorities and are going to meet other cab operators. We have strictly warned them to desist from indulging in indiscriminate surge pricing. Uber has committed to us that they will not permit more than 1.5 times the regular fare during the odd-even period.”