Odd-even blueprint exempts VIPs, women, CNG vehicles

New Delhi :VIPs, women drivers, CNG-certified vehicles, two wheelers and those carrying the differently-abled are among 25 categories which will be exempted from the ambitious odd-even scheme set to roll out from January 1 for 15 days, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Thursday.

Violators would attract a penalty of Rs 2,000, he told reporters at his residence here while listing out those out of the ambit of the scheme which includes vehicles of President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Justice of India, Lok Sabha Speaker and Union Ministers.

SPG protectees, vehicles of Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, judges of Supreme Court and Delhi High Court will not be covered by the scheme.

Kejriwal candidly said that if the number of violators is huge, it will mean that the public at large in the national capital are not in favour of the scheme and it will be discontinued.

The car rationing scheme, which has received a mixed response from experts and the general public, would be applicable from 8 AM to 8 PM on all days except Sunday and on cars with NCR and other states’ registration number plates, Kejriwal said.

A woman driving a car, even while being accompanied by female co-passengers and children up to the age of 12, would be exempted whereas cases of medical emergencies would be treated on “basis of trust” for the first two weeks of January 2016, the CM said.

Senior citizens, doctors, lawyers, who had petitioned the government seeking exemption, will have to abide by the regulations.

Announcing the blueprint of the scheme, Kejriwal said it has received all the necessary approvals, including that of the Lt Governor, and a notification for its implementation would be issued next Monday.

Kejriwal kept himself and his cabinet ministers under the scheme and said that they will carpool to work during the trial period. Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that all the officers will also follow the scheme.

Embassy vehicles bearing CD numbers, cars with defence ministry number plates, vehicles which are having a pilot or escort have also been exempted.

Emergency and enforcement vehicles such as ambulances, fire brigade, police vehicles, hearse vehicles, transport department vehicles would be out of its ambit as well.

The Chief Minister assured that Delhi Metro services would run at its peak frequency during the period would the regulations would be in force.

The announcement came a day after the national capital recorded its most polluted day of the year which saw a sharp spike in the level of suspended particulate matters, and following a series of directives from the higher courts to regulate vehicle movement in the megapolis.

There are over 19 lakh private four-wheelers registered in Delhi and nearly half of these will go off the roads with the implementation of the radical odd-even formula.

Kejriwal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to nudge Union Ministers to follow the rules voluntarily, despite being exempted while Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was also present at the press meet, said a “strong message” would go out if the Chief Justice of India carpools to work.

Kejriwal said such schemes are enforced only during peak pollution periods across the world and stressed on the need for a “cultural change” for it to meet success as merely the “fear of punishment” would not work.

“About 10,000 NCC and NSS volunteers would be pressed into service who will offer roses to violators so that there is a mindset change. Students across Delhi would also be made to take an oath on December 30 towards ensuring a pollution free environment,” Kejriwal said.

Vehicle of the Lokayukta, enforcement vehicles belonging to police, Delhi governemnt transport department, vehicles authorised by the divisional commissioner of Delhi, para military forces, electric and hybrid vehicles and those being driven or occupied by handicapped persons also count among the exempted.

The AAP chief said that during the last edition of the carfree day in the city on Tuesday, several issues had cropped up as traffic police had stopped public vehicles like buses from entering the designated stretch in East Delhi.

“Transport Minister Gopal Rai is writing to the Delhi Police Commissioner and the Centre raising the matter. There should not be politics over this matter,” Kejriwal said.

According to the blueprint, cars bearing odd number plates would not be even allowed to park in public parking lots during even number dates and vice-versa.

Cars, if found parked on designated bus lanes being marked across the city, would also attract penalty.

He said, according to the plan, owners of CNG-fitted cars will need to paste prescribed stickers on the windscreen which will be issued by Indraprastha Gas Limited. A ‘carpool app’ would soon be launched by the government.

Earlier this month, Kejriwal had announced that he, his ministers and all government officials will follow odd-even scheme. He had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his cooperation on its implementation.

According to the government’s plan, it will run 6,000 additional buses to accommodate commuters after the implementation of odd-even scheme.

Nearly 10 lakh private cars are expected to daily stay off Delhi roads from January one that may result in significant reduction in pollution levels in the city.