Odd-Even part 2: First working day today, test for govt’s ‘double’ preparation

Transport Minister Gopal Rai said,”We have pressed all our DTC public transport systems into full service. Preparations for Monday are the same, only with doubled rigour because it’s a working day with all schools, offices and businesses open.”

The government Sunday said it has doubled its preparations for the first working day of phase II of the odd-even scheme. It also wrote to the Lieutenant Governor to ensure law and order, following the threat of an auto-rickshaw strike called by a few trade unions on Monday. The strike was later called off.

Transport Minister Gopal Rai said,”We have pressed all our DTC public transport systems into full service. Preparations for Monday are the same, only with doubled rigour because it’s a working day with all schools, offices and businesses open.”

“All buses have been serviced through Sunday and we will try to extend the full bus fleet, including the 600 paryavaran bus sewa private carriages. So far, only 500 of the 600 buses were on road because drivers didn’t turn up or buses were not serviced,” said a senior DTC official.

Transport Minister Gopal Rai Sunday met senior DTC officials to discuss the need for pressing around 100 more buses at ISBTs and railway stations to combat the possible disruption in public transport because of a possible auto strike in the city Monday.

“We have been asked to send out as many as 100 buses from our emergency reserve, besides deploying 90 per cent of the roughly 4,000-strong fleet on Monday in case the auto-strike is a large one,” said the official.

Rai also held meetings with senior Delhi police officers, asking them to ensure that law and order is maintained Monday fearing striking autorickshaw drivers could try to dissuade those drivers and vehicles willing to ply.

“I met Joint Commissioner of Police (Central range) S K Guatam and Additional Commissioner (Traffic) A K Ojha and apprised them of the possible deterioration of law and order situation on Monday, and that they should ensure no auto-rickshaw is damaged or passengers harassed,” said Rai. “I also wrote to the L-G that auto and taxi unions of RSS and BJP have announced to go on strike on April 18. Several auto union representatives who met me have distanced themselves from the strike while expressing fears of violence and sabotage by the striking unions,” he added.

However, developments late on Sunday resulted in the strike being called off.

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