Odd-even a ‘movement’, reassessment after Jan 15: Kejriwal

The Delhi government is likely to enforce the odd-even restrictions only during periods of spike in air pollution, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, enthused by the “overwhelming” response of the people on the first day of the initiative, said today.

Kejriwal explained that there would be a reassessment after the pilot plan ends on January 15 and that it would never be “permanently” implemented. It had assumed the form of a “movement” within few hours of its implementation from 8 AM in the morning, he said.

The Chief Minister made the remarks after the commencement of the radical scheme, which is aimed at mitigating spiralling air pollution levels with the stipulation today that private cars bearing odd-registration plates can ply on city roads.

“This will go on till January 15. Then we will stop it and reassess. Nowehere in the world is the scheme enforced permanently. It is practically not possible. Whenever pollution levels spike this is used as a weapon,” Kejriwal said.

The Chief Minister said the restrictions may again be invoked for few days in the next 2-3 months if pollution level sees a jump. As per initial reports, the plan has been “quite successful” and people in the national capital have largely accepted the restrictions with an “open mind”, Kejriwal said.

Under the regulations, cars bearing odd-numbered registration plates shall ply on city roads today while those with even number plates, if taken out, will attract a penalty of Rs 2,000 under relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act. It will be vice-versa tomorrow.
On suggestions that cars were off roads largely for it

being the first day of the new year, Kejriwal said that most of the cars, albeit less, that are plying bear odd number registration plates.

“Car volume may be less as it is a new year day but it is to be noted that most of them have odd number registration plates. So the apprehensions are unfounded as only car volume may go up on Monday not violations,” he said.

Speaking to reporters outside his residence, Kejriwal harped on the point that the scheme will meet with success only when people embrace it and not though force.

“It has become a movement and we are truly overwhelmed by the response we have received so far. Delhi will show way to the rest of the country,” Kejriwal said.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who reached the Secretariat on his official car bearing odd-number registration plate, echoed the Chief Minister’s observation saying that people have adopted the initiative as their “own mission”.

“And government is merely assisting them. So this is the ideal situation,” Sisodia said.

Kejriwal shared his car to the Secretariat with transport Minister Gopal Rai and Health Minister Satyender Jain. They live in North Delhi’s Civil Lines area.

Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra reached the Secretariat on his two-wheeler at around 9 AM and tweeted, “Wow Delhi Thank you for making #OddEvenFormula a success…Just reached office on bike.. No traffic.. Delhi is following it voluntarily.”

Two-wheelers are included in the list of 25 categories that have been kept out of the ambit of the scheme.