Delhi government plans major changes to odd-even scheme

The Delhi government's odd-even scheme that allows cars having odd registration numbers to ply on odd dates and those having even numbers to ply on even dates may soon witness major changes with even two wheelers being brought under its purview.

At present, the scheme exempts VIPs, women, school going children, medical emergencies, commercial vehicles and CNG cars and two-wheelers. The odd-even scheme was first introduced in January to decrease pollution in the national capital and found favour with a lot of citizens as it brought down traffic on the roads considerably.

Says Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai: "The scheme has become very popular among people who have learned to travel together. They are learning the concept of car-pooling. The government is seriously considering making it permanent."

He added that the government would also withdraw the scheme if the people of Delhi would not support it. He said that the second phase of the plan was started because the citizens of the city wanted it.

The rules, whose violation attract a penalty of Rs 2,000 under provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, are applicable between 8am and 8pm, except on Sundays. In the second phase from April 15-30, the government added into its exemption list people driving with school children in uniform.

However, the government has not been able to arrive at a solution to the problem of cars returning after dropping school children or heading towards the schools in the afternoon hours to pick them up, and suggested carpooling.

As Monday is the first full working day of the odd-even scheme, the government will not tolerate arbitrariness by any app-based taxi operator causing hardship to commuters. Ola and Uber will have to follow rules. "If we receive complaints against arbitrariness of any app-based taxi service, we will impound their vehicles," Rai said.