New Delhi, April 15: The second phase of the Delhi government’s odd-even traffic scheme kicked off on Friday, with hundreds of thousands of even-numbered cars going off the capital’s roads. Over 500 traffic violators were fined till afternoon. Around 4,000 civil defence volunteers, mostly young people, were stationed at major crossings. Sporting green umbrellas and holding placards calling for saving the environment, the volunteers held roses in their hands to present to violators. Around 2,000 traffic police personnel and 400 ex-servicemen were also deployed to enforce the scheme that is aimed at tackling rising pollution in the city.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has proposed to make it a monthly affair, appealed to the people to make the second phase a success. “Odd even starts today (Friday). Let’s all join hands and resolve to make it a success,” Kejriwal tweeted. Transport Minister Gopal Rai, who travelled on a Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus to take stock of the situation, expressed satisfaction over the response to the second leg of the scheme. “As we can see today people are following the odd-even rule voluntarily. I hope the second phase will also be a success like the first phase in January this year,” Rai told IANS while travelling in the bus. The DTC bus Rai was in travelled from the Delhi Secretariat to Pragati Maidan, India Gate, Conught Place, Minto Road, Ramlila Maidan among other spots. The traffic department of Delhi Police challaned as many as 511 violators between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The first day of the second phase saw roads less crowded as hundreds of thousands of even-numbered vehicles went off the roads. The day also happened to be a public holiday, owing to the Ram vami festival. The public holiday meant fewer number of vehicles on Delhi roads. During his bus ride, Rai alighted at India Gate and Minto Road and interacted with the civil defence volunteers. He appealed to the volunteers to request violators not to flout the odd-even rules. Rai appealed to women to go themselves to drop and pick up their children from school and also to coordite with other parents in picking up their children during the odd-even exercise. Rai himself carpooled to office in an odd numbered car with Burari legislator Sanjeev Jha and Mehrauli legislator resh Yadav. He also hinted at the possibility of the odd-even scheme becoming a feature every month if this phase proved successful.
“The first phase was during winters, and this is summer. We will collate the experiences from both the seasons. Therefore, this is the decisive phase. Depending on the feedback, the government may consider odd-even scheme every month for 15 days,” he added. Those not abiding by the rule are to be fined Rs.2,000. The odd-even vehicle movement plan for four-wheelers will continue till April 30 between 8.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. except on Sundays. (IANS)