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Odd-Even Scheme May Return to Delhi as Air Quality Worsens

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Odd-Even May Return to Delhi
Odd-Even May Return to Delhi as Air Quality Worsens. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 26: With the air quality in Delhi and NCR increasingly getting worse ahead of winter, the city government has said it may bring back the odd-even scheme to limit the number of cars on the roads.

In a letter written on Wednesday, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to gear up for implementation of the odd-even scheme — under which private vehicles with odd registration numbers will be allowed to run on odd dates and those with even numbers will run on even dates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Weekends and public holidays were exempted from the first two rounds of the vehicle rationing Odd-Even scheme. Others exempted included CNG and electric cars, two-wheelers, cars driven by women and vehicles with a woman driver with a male companion below 12. Vehicles for medical emergencies, occupied or driven by people with disabilities, VVIPs, and enforcement cars were also allowed to run on all days.

The Minister also directed DTC to “chalk out an action plan for procurement of buses/conductors and submit the same within seven days”.

“With the increase in pollution level in Delhi the government may have to resort to emergency measures, including implementation of the odd-even scheme,” the letter read.

“It is, therefore, essential that the Transport Department/DTC/DIMTS are fully geared up for implementation of the scheme as and when the same is announced.”

The Odd-Even Scheme to curb Delhi’s toxic air was introduced first on January 1, 2016. The second phase was rolled out on April 15 that year. Violators were fined Rs 2,000 on the spot.

The air quality has been worsening in the capital. On Thursday, the average air quality index was “poor” even as most areas in the capital reeled under “very poor” and some suffered “severe” air pollution levels.(IANS)

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Odd even battle reaches on roads of social media

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odd even scheme

New Delhi: The supporters of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the opposition BJP chose a different battleground this time. It was the social media sites which became the ultimate war-front between supporters of both the parties over the odd even scheme.

The New Year saw the launch of the odd-even scheme which brought out trolls on the AAP government. While Delhiites supported the scheme, the BJP supporters used the hashtag #OddEven_ka_Raita to prove their angst against it.

https://twitter.com/AapBaap_NO10/status/684015536619954176

The hashtag was among the top trends on Twitter last week along with #OddEvenSuccess used by the AAP volunteers, which was also trending. The volunteers posted photos and quotes showcasing the scheme’s success, saying the government deserved praise for traffic reduction. The BJP supporters counterattacked with posting data of disappointingly high pollution levels.

The Delhi High Court on Monday said that the odd even scheme will continue till 15th January. Delhi Government already has said that after that it will be discontinued. The repetition of the scheme will depend on the data received during these 15 days of trial.(Inputs from agencies)

Whether the scheme continues or not, it seems the struggle between both the parties will continue.(Inputs from agencies)

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Odd-even scheme not to be continued after 15 Jan: Rai

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Odd-even scheme

New Delhi: “The odd-even scheme of vehicle restriction would not be extended beyond 15 days. The reports saying that it could go on are ‘false’,” said Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai on Saturday.

“News reports that Delhi government may extend odd-even formula trial beyond January 15 are false,” Rai said.

“We will be examining trends and data collected during trial period after January 15 and the trial period won’t be extended,” he added.

On Friday, senior counsel Harish Salve, who appeared for the Delhi government in the high court to defend the scheme, said the curbs had “a definite positive effect” and “may be continued after this two weeks (planned 15 days) period.”

After the Delhi High Court termed the national capital akin to a gas chamber, the Delhi government had announced this scheme, beginning on January 1, for even numbered four-wheeled vehicles to run on even numbered dates and vice-versa.

The scheme drew different set of opinions from all the section of the state as a lot of people criticized the initiative. Delhi High Court had asked the government to limit the plan just for the seven days.

The Delhi government claimed that the formula was successful and in future it can be used again. Delhi was found out to be one of the most polluted city in the world. To counter this, the government was forced to roll out the odd-even scheme.

(IANS) (Picture Courtesy:theindiantalks.com)

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Delhi government looks to rent space to park buses

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New Delhi, With ambitious plans to buy 10,000 more buses, the Delhi government is considering a proposal to rent space in the city to park the huge fleet.

Even now, the administration finds there is not enough space to park at night it’s 4,700 Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and 1,300 ‘cluster buses’, which operate on a public-private partnership basis. BusesDelhiDTC

“We are exploring the possibility of renting open space for parking buses at night,” a government official said.

The DTC claims to run the world’s biggest fleet of buses operating on clean fuel. Along with Delhi Metro, it offers the cheapest mode of public transport in the capital.

There are 46 DTC depots in the capital now. Officials say they together cannot accommodate even the entire existing fleet.

This forces drivers to park hundreds of buses by the roadside at night, leading at times to harassment at the hands of Delhi Police, who don’t report to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-controlled Delhi government.

The Delhi government needs land to create more bus depots. But land is a central government subject in the National Capital Region. And land is costly too.

“We will see if large chunks of land like school playgrounds and other areas are available at night on rent,” the Delhi government official said.

“At times, police harass bus drivers because they park their vehicles at non-designated spots,” the official said. “It is all because of the land crisis in the capital.”

The official said the city government needed 200 acres to park its fleet of buses but had only 10 acres of dedicated space at its disposal.

“In any case, the depots are small in size and always crammed,” he added.

In order to encourage people to switch to public transport, the Delhi government has announced that it will buy 10,000 more buses. It says the central government is not giving it land for more bus depots.

Recently, the city government sought 500 acres from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the capital’s land owning agency which is controlled by the central government.

“One acre of commercial land costs about Rs.50 crore. You can imagine that we will have to shell out thousands of crores of rupees just to create bus depots,” the official said, adding that the AAP government didn’t have so much money to spend on this project.

About 4.5 million people commute by DTC buses daily. This comes to a poor ratio of one bus for 1,000 passengers.

“There is massive shortage of buses in the capital,” the official explained, detailing the woes of the capital where despite Delhi Metro’s services, public transport remains a major issue.

“The main reason is parking space. How will we augment the numbers of buses if there is no parking space? We don’t have space for the existing buses, let alone the required space for an additional 10,000 buses.”

(IANS)