Delhiites making alternative plans before odd-even scheme

New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) Delhiites are gearing up to make alternative arrangements to travel in the city from January, days before the implementation of the odd-even formula to combat rising pollution in the capital.

The Delhi government on Thursday announced the modalities of its ambitious traffic rationing scheme to battle record pollution levels in the city.

The odd-even formula will be tried on a pilot basis for 15 days starting from January 1 and will apply between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily except on Sundays.

Akanksha Srivastava, who works in a private firm, welcomed the scheme saying the exemption will be a positive step towards women’s safety.

“It’s a huge relief for me. Had they not exempted us from the odd-and-even rule, I would have had to take the Metro from Sarita Vihar to Noida, which would take almost two hours. By car, it takes just 30 minutes at night to reach home. It’s a good step considering women’s safety,” she said.

The scheme will be applicable only to cars.

Abhinav Jha, a central government employee, said he would exchange vehicles on even dates since he has an odd-numbered vehicle.

“I work from Monday to Friday. I have coordinated with my cousin sister who has an even-numbered vehicle. We will exchange our cars on the two days as women are exempt from this rule,” Jha said.

The city recorded its most polluted day of the year on Wednesday (December 23).

Many Delhiites hope to switch to motorbikes and CNG vehicles to avoid inconvenience during the 15-day trial run.

Banker Ranjan Das said: “My son’s motorcycle has been lying in the garage for the past six months. I will get it repaired this weekend and use it on the days when I can’t take my car out.”

Priyansh Joshi, a gym accountant with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said: “Although I will have to shell out about Rs.5,000 to get my bike repaired. I will do it as soon as possible. I hope this even-odd norm is not permanent as driving a bike is problematic in today’s traffic.”

Cars using compressed natural gas (CNG) will also be exempted.

Sameer Altaf, a 28-year-old businessman, said: “I was thinking of getting a CNG kit installed in my car. I will get the job done before January 1.”

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