Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Environmentalists unhappy as Kejriwal unveils odd-even plan

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New Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday unveiled its ambitious odd-even traffic rationing plan to combat rising pollution, but greens were unhappy over the exemption given to 25 categories of motorists including women drivers, bikers, emergency vehicles and a host of VIPs.

The odd-even formula will be tried out for 15 days from January 1 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. except on Sundays, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said. It will also apply to vehicles entering Delhi from other states.

Environmentalists expressed dismay over the large number of exemptions, saying this will derail the scheme. But others lauded the initiative while admitting it will cause inconvenience to motorists.

Officials said the scheme will be applicable only to cars, which form almost a third of the capital’s nearly nine million vehicles — a situation that has taken Delhi’s air pollution to alarming levels.

Cars with odd registration numbers will be allowed to ply only on odd dates (January 1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15) and those with even registration numbers on even dates (January 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 14). Sundays (January 3 and 10) will be restriction free.

Kejriwal said the policy incorporated suggestions from the judiciary and the union home ministry as well as experts.

“We appeal to residents of Delhi to make this odd-even plan a success so as to reduce air pollution which has assumed alarming proportions,” he said.

“Without people’s support, this will not be successful,” he added. “We are doing this for our children, for our future, for our environment.”

“Women drivers or women with children below 12 years will be exempted from the odd-even formula,” he said. Those going to hospitals for medical emergency too will be exempted — if they show proof.

Greens were particularly unhappy over the blanket exemption given to the some 50 lakh two-wheelers.

Vikrant Tongad, with the Delhi-based Social Action for Forest and Environment, said:

“This is a good initiative, but it won’t suffice. It will be of very less benefit as many vehicles are being exempted. The restrictions are not enough as trucks and bikes are major sources of pollution.”

Priyansh Joshi, who lives in south Delhi, said he will quickly get his bike repaired. “Why not do it for the environment?”

But Ajay Gautam, a resident of Mayur Vihar in east Delhi, had another worry. “Because of this, there will be more crowds in Delhi Metro and pickpocketing will go up.”

The Delhi government decided to radically cut the number of cars on the roads after repeated warnings from the judiciary on soaring pollution. The Delhi High Court said the city had become akin to a “gas chamber”.

Kejriwal said he and his ministers will abide by the restrictions, but these won’t apply to the president, vice president, prime minister, governors, Supreme Court judges, central ministers, chief ministers of states other than Delhi, diplomats as well as ambulances and police and fire service vehicles.

Cars and other vehicles propelled by compressed natural gas (CNG) too will be exempted and those ferrying physically-challenged people.

Kejriwal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appeal to his ministers to support the plan. He sought help from Delhi Police to make the scheme a success.

The chief minister admitted that the public transport was not adequate to cope with the numbers who would have to leave their cars behind and urged motorists to go for car pooling.

About 4,000-5,000 additional buses and 10,000 new auto-rickshaws will be added to the public transport, he said. Delhi Metro train frequency will be raised.

Violators would be fined Rs.2,000, Kejriwal said. (IANS)

  • Rakesh Manchanda

    Kudos..good coverage of this essential 15 day experiment.

Next Story

Delhites Flood Twitter with Funny Memes, Jokes on #oddeven Scheme

Kejriwal said the Odd-Even scheme was aimed at combating high-levels of air pollution in winters due to crop burning in neighbouring states

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Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

Soon after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced that the Odd-Even scheme will be back between November 4 and 15, several memes, jokes and videos with #oddeven hashtag have gone viral on social media such as Twitter.

Twitterati shared funny reactions and jokes on the scheme’s comeback.

Here are some of the funniest posts:

A Twitter user named @sagarcasm tweeted: “I don’t think Arvind Kejriwal and Piyush Goyal get along very well. Kejriwal loves doing Odd-Even and Goyal hates maths. #OddEven.”

“I’m not following this ridiculous #OddEven. Fine me, arrest me. There, I said it. @ArvindKejriwal, you ignorant, lazy, freak – vehicular emissions barely scratch the surface of the ocean causing air pollution,” a woman with username @MeherunissaA tweeted.

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FILE – A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

Another person shared a picture of Bollywood actor Jimmy Sheirgill with his popular movie dialogue ‘Humko Ghanta Faraq Nahi Padta’ and also wrote with caption: “Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the #OddEven scheme for vehicles will be implemented in Delhi from 4 to 15 November. People who go on metros – #OddEven.”

“#oddeven #SayItLikeNirmalaTai #BoycottMillenials #BoycottMillennials, everyone freaking out with traffic fines and odd even. *Le me*, a millennial destroying economy taking odd/even numbered Uber/Ola,” another user tweeted.

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“Delhites, get ready to welcome #oddeven #evenodd once again..this time from 4-15 Nov. @ArvindKejriwal, instead of finding a solution to crop burning and stopping it, its so easy to make us suffer, right? We don’t mind any PLANS to curb stub burning?” another tweet read.

Kejriwal said the Odd-Even scheme was aimed at combating high-levels of air pollution in winters due to crop burning in neighbouring states. (IANS)