The new year for motorists in Delhi started with the implementation of the state government’s ‘odd-even’ scheme that aims to reduce the pollution in the national capital by restricting the number of cars that ply on the road.
On Friday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told the media: "I am truly overwhelmed by the response we have received so far. There are very less even-numbered cars on the roads. The plan seems to have been successful. Delhi will show way to the rest of the country.”
"Delhi has done it! Reports so far very encouraging. Delhiites! You give me hope that you are capable of achieving big challenges," Kejriwal said in a tweet.
According to the scheme, cars bearing registration numbers that end with an odd digit will be allowed to ply on odd-numbered dates while those ending with an even digit will be allowed to commute on an even-numbered date. The restrictions will be in effect for a 15-day trial period starting January 1, 2016. The rule will be in force from 8am to 8pm on all days, except Sundays.
According to reports, Kejriwal shared his car with transport minister Gopal Rai and health minister Satyender Jain, while Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia reached the secretariat in his official car bearing odd-number registration plate,
Delhi government has launched two helplines 011-42400400 and 011-41400400 for queries and clarifications. During this trial period, the government said metro services across the capital will ply on high frequency and it has also introduced 3,000 extra buses. Additionally, the government has also tied up with Twitter to provide real-time updates for routes.
The real test for the Delhi government, however, will likely be on Monday, January 4, 2016 when many Delhi residents return after their year-end holidays.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has questioned the exemption granted to two-wheelers and women-only vehicles under the scheme, media reports suggested. It has asked the government to submit a status report questioning the impact of such an exemption.
The radical ‘odd-even’ scheme will not be applicable to CNG, electric and hybrid vehicles, women-only cars and those belonging to top politicians. Here is a complete list of vehicles exempted from the car-rotation plan.