The Delhi Government, in an action plan to curb air pollution, has proposed to the National Green Tribunal that this time no exemptions will be made in the odd-even scheme. The government has also said in its plan that construction will be stopped completely when air pollution level touches 'severe' category, adding that entry of trucks will also be banned in Delhi during the time. The government finally relented after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal put a hold on the odd-even rule last month, hours after NGT gave a go-ahead after including women drivers and two-wheelers in the vehicle rationing scheme.
The government has been scrambling to come up with ways to bring down air pollution levels, which for the past few months have been at hazardous levels, giving rise to respiratory problems to many. Along with shutting of schools for some days and the government advising people to avoid their morning walks, the odd-even rule was mulled over for a long time as a competent method of reducing pollution levels.
Kejriwal had disagreed with NGT's proposal, under which two-wheelers and women drivers were not to be exempt. Now though, complying with the green court's plan of action, the government has given a go-ahead to odd-even rule, sans the exemptions.
As the name suggests, cars and SUVs with an odd number on the licence plate will be allowed on odd dates and a similar case for even licence plate numbers. While the full details of the rule have not been specified yet, it is likely to be in line with NGT's proposal last month, according to which school children in uniform being driven in a car will be exempt from the odd-even rule.
According to the rules specified last month, the scheme will not apply to emergency vehicles like PCR vans, fire brigade and ambulances, and public buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws will also not be affected. The government also plans to run more buses to provide a hassle-free experience for commuters and Delhi Metro will increase the frequency and number of carriages during this period.
If implemented, this will be the third time Delhi will see the implementation of the odd-even rule. Although the last two times yielded almost negligible results on the pollution front, daily commuters did certainly enjoy seeing less traffic on Delhi roads.