Delhi's Odd-Even Scheme Observations

Odd-Even Scheme Progress Table

Day 1 – Jan 1

The Kejriwal-led Delhi government kicked off the trial run for the Odd Even Formula for vehicles. The first day was called a “success”.
Odd One Out: 203 people were fined for violation. Volunteers offered red roses to violators and requested them to comply with Odd-Even Policy.

Day 2 – Jan 2

Even-numbered cars rolled on Delhi roads with AAP’s Manish Sisodia cycling to office.
Odd One Out: Nearly 200 people violated this rule. This apart, several people flouted pre-existing traffic rules.

Day 3 – Jan 3

DTC gears up to use entire fleet of buses.
Odd One Out: Being a Sunday, the city did not witness any violators.

Day 4 – Jan 4

The Odd-Even Scheme passes the “litmus test” because of the “will of Delhiites”
Odd One Out: Nearly 1,997 challans were issued to violators by the enforcement agencies

Day 5 – Jan 5

Smooth drive across stretches near Pragati Maidan and Lajpat Nagar which is usually congested.
Odd One Out: SDMs issued a total of 639 challans.

Day 6 – Jan 6

The Delhi High Court questioned the 15-day duration of the odd-even policy, post the filing of a Public Interest Litigation, citing ‘public inconvenience’.
Odd One Out: Delhi weather conditions keep pollution levels high.

Day 7 –  Jan 7

Gopal Rai rubbishes “harassment” by auto drivers as rumours.

Odd One Out: Issue of alleged permit scan raised by auto drivers and union leaders.

Day 8 – Jan 8

Odd Even rule’s successful implementation proves that AAP can govern, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

Odd One Out: Delhi’s air quality worsens 50%. 5,893 challans issued till date.

Day 9 – Jan 9

Government revealed its plans to give subsidy on cycles using the Odd-Even challan amount.

Odd One Out: 875 violators booked by authorities.

Day 10 – Jan 10

Delhi Transport Minister Goapl Rai ruled out extension of Odd-Even Rule after January 15.

Odd One Out: 13,528 Odd-even rule enquiries made via phone.

Day 11 – Jan 11

The Delhi High Court ruled in favour of continuation of Odd-Even Scheme till January 15.

Odd One Out: 766 challans issued by SDMs and designated officers.

Day 14 – Jan 14

Odd-Even Scheme will be back for a second phase, confirms Gopal Rai.

Odd One Out: Data reveals not much change in Delhi’s air pollution.

Day 15 – Jan 15

With the trial period ending today, decision for second phase of experiment to be taken in review meeting scheduled for 18 January 2016.

Odd One Out: A whopping 5,893 challans issued so far.

Everything You Need To Know About Delhi’s Odd-Even Rule

Delhi is often accused of being a city that doesn’t care, but on Friday, 1 Jan 2016, the city demonstrated to the world that Delhi did care, when they responded positively to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s call to follow the odd-even car number rule.

This led to the CM calling the first day experiment a ‘success’ and he thanked the people of Delhi for responding positively to his call. He clarified that this was an experiment for 15 days and the state government would review the scheme based on people’s feedback and response.

Despite apprehensions to the contrary, most people with number plate ending with an odd number came out, as per rule, that allows cars with even numbers on roads on even dates, and odd number cars on odd number dates. January 1 being a Friday, it was the turn of cars with odd numbers to be on road and it did come as a pleasant surprise to see most citizens with even numbers leave their cars at home.

These people resorted to carpooling, autos, taxis, buses and the Metro, to reach their place of work and the results were visible. The city saw minimal blockages to traffic and most places, like the ITO area, which traditionally witness severe jams, saw smooth flow of vehicles.

The most relieved person was the CM Arvind Kejriwal, who has had to battle severe criticism from opposition parties and even the Delhi Police, that were initially critical of this idea. However, it must be said that the CM was tad lucky that citizens responded positively to his call. His critics have been vociferous in voicing their concerns on how the scheme would be monitored and checks conducted, without further disrupting the traffic and causing even bigger jams. But Friday turned out smooth with very few traffic violations recorded.

So how did CM Kejriwal pull it off?

Most importantly, the scheme echoed people’s concern at the rising problem of air pollution in Delhi, especially in winters, when smog envelops the city and makes it difficult for people to breathe due to absence of clean air. The call to do something actually came from people themselves and the Chief Minister rightly responded.

Delhi has the dubious distinction for competing with Beijing as two most polluted cities in the world, drawing international criticism and concern. The city just had to do something and Arvind Kejriwal came up with this idea to restrict the passenger cars to odd-even numbers, on respective days.

After initial resistance, Delhi Police Commissioner BL Bassi, offered support for the trial period to see how it pans out. Two hundred teams of Delhi Police were on roads, supported by 66 enforcement teams from the transport department, and backed by 40 teams of SDMs to enforce the initiative. Supporting them was an army of civil defence volunteers, with school children doing their bit to create awareness. By evening, the Delhi Police had issued challans to 81 violators which was far below what was expected.

To augment the public transport, 3000 additional buses were deployed in various parts of Delhi and Friday saw all this effort bear fruit and was largely helped by the cooperation extended by Delhites, who left behind their cars with even numbers.

Support for the initiative came from unexpected quarters. Several Delhi University students took out their bicycles and rode to the campus in a show of solidarity despite the colleges being shut for winters. The CM too shared the car with Transport Minister Gopal Rai and Satyendra Jain – Delhi’s PWD Minister on way to office and back.

But there were die-hard rule violators who still found an excuse to break the rule. The first challan of Rs 2000 was issued at around 08.33 a.m. in the morning and through the day not too many challans were issued, as Delhi Police and civil defence volunteers were out to create an awareness and educate citizens on the need to follow the scheme.

Amongst prominent citizens who were caught violating the rule was former Police Commissioner of Mumbai and now a politician with BJP, SN Singh and he was lucky to get away with a warning and dose on citizen responsibility.

People’s response

Most people have voiced their support for the initiative but many have cautioned against being too optimistic based on the first day’s experience. Jan 1 is a holiday for most offices, besides people mostly remaining home after partying all night. Saturday and Sunday are holidays therefore, the real test would be on Monday 4 January 2016, when people will be out in full force and heading for work after an extended weekend.

Can the odd-even car scheme make a difference?

The city has no choice but to try all means at its disposal to address the growing problem of pollution. Air pollutants remain in concentrated levels through the year but is more visible due to smog that envelops the city in peak winter. An important measure of pollution is the ‘Air Quality Index’ measured by the Pollution Control Board.

As on Saturday 2 Jan 2016, PM2.5, the most prominent pollutant, touched a maximum of 355, with the lowest for the day being 83 and the average at 230. This high level of PM2.5 is extremely hazardous to human health and therefore the urgency to address the problem on a war footing.

One of the major causes of pollution is vehicular emissions, along with emissions from industries and thermal power stations in and around the city. The state government has rightly called for thermal power stations in Badarpur to shut down, but unless entry of vehicles into the city is restricted, Delhi will have to continue to be victims of air pollution.

It’s time for all citizens to be aware of the dangers of pollution and extend full cooperation to all measures and initiatives that the government undertakes. After all, it’s all our lives at stake.

4 Jan 2016: The Real Test for Odd-Even Rule

With Delhiites getting back to work after a long weekend, the Kejriwal-led Delhi government is all set to combat any and every challenge that comes its way. In-line with this, volunteers including National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme cadets have been asked to use hidden cameras for clicking pictures of the violators of the Odd-Even Rule. To ensure compliance, the Delhi government has also made appropriate arrangements of stationing additional policemen.

What’s New?

A TV ad promoting Delhi’s odd-even scheme is out. The advertisement features Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wearing his trademark sweater and muffler. While Kejriwal’s face can’t be seen even in a single frame, the advertisement starts with him greeting people, followed by recalling the experience of a volunteer involved in the odd-even scheme.

End of the Odd Even Rule

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal addressed a giant gathering of 5,000 audiences at the Chhatrasal Stadium on 17 January 2016, thanking the people of Delhi for their immense support in making the Odd-Even road rationing scheme a success. However, a woman in her 20s, later identified as Bhavna Arora from West Delhi threw ink, some papers and a CD at the Delhi CM, saying that the Odd Even scheme was being backed by a big CNG scam.

The Delhi Chief Minister on Monday, January 25, announced scheduling jan sabhas to decide the implementation of Odd-Even Scheme in Delhi. These jan sabhas would be held throughout the capital city to seek public opinion on the 15-day long odd-even scheme. Kejriwal also announced, starting today, every Aam Aadmi Party MLA would be organising meetings at the constituency level to decide the future course of the Odd-Even road rationing measure.

26 January 2016

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expects Delhiites to email in their suggestions for the odd-even rule’s second phase at the email id: oddevenidea@gmail.com. From today, the AAP-led Delhi government will be issuing advertisements asking the masses to email their suggestions to the notified email address. Additionally, the AAP government has asked all MLAs to organise ‘Jan Sabhas’ in their respective constituencies from 6 February to 7 February to seek people’s suggestions on the Odd-Even second phase.

Read More:

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