MPs raise odd-even issue, Speaker assures help

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The Arvind Kejriwal government’s odd-even traffic scheme on Sunday got a word of support from an unexpected quarter — from a parliamentarian of Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal.

The issue figured at an all-party meeting and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan intervened to announce that she has directed parliament officials to arrange additional vehicles for members as per the traffic restriction.

Amid criticism of the scheme, BJD member B. Mahtab supported it.

“We will try that we provide vehicles to members as per the odd-even scheme. We will try (to see that) members should not suffer problems while coming to parliament,” Mahajan told reporters after the meeting.

Raising the issue of problems faced by people due to restricted traffic norms, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader A.P. Jithender Reddy expressed concern about how the lawmakers could perform their duties when they have only one car officially allotted.

“The speaker as the custodian of parliament and members should know about this important issue,” he reportedly said at the meeting wherein some other members, irrespective of party affiliation, supported him.

However, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) floor leader in Lok Sabha Mahtab said members should cooperate and try to help in implementationof the scheme as it was aimed at curbing pollution and decongestion on Delhi roads.

At this, while a few members laughed, taking things in a lighter vein, Reddy maintained that his complaints were genuine.

“Some members rightly said that they may face problems. Even parliament can face problems, as half the vehicles can be used at a time and half will not. But we will try and find a solution,” Mahajan said.

The Delhi government has, meanwhile, appealed to the parliamentarians to cooperate with the odd-even norms and has also arranged six buses to ply specially for MPs.

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai spoke to Mahajan on the issue during the day and sought her support to make the anti-pollution traffic drive a success.

While the president, vice president, prime minister, union ministers, Chief Justice of India, judges of high courts, women and students, among others, are exempted under the odd-even norms, there has been no exemption for MPs.

The second phase of the odd-even scheme started on April 15 and will continue till April 30.

–IANS

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