Odd-even scheme will be repeated: Delhi’s transport minister

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) The odd-even scheme to restrict the number of vehicles on the national capital’s roads will be repeated some time in the future, Delhi’s Transport Minister Gopal Rai said on Monday.

Rai, however, said the scheme would be implemented only after a concrete strategy was finalised.

One of the worries for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government was that the scheme might prompt people to buy two cars which would only add to the traffic woes of the capital, the minister said.

“We can re-implement the odd-even scheme in its existing format but we have two worries — one is that repeating the formula might prompt people to buy two cars and secondly the parents, who pick and drop their wards, may face problems with the odd-even scheme in place,” Rai told the media after a meeting held to review the plan.

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“We will repeat the scheme in Delhi only after getting a proper solution to both these worries,” the minister said.

“In the review meeting today, we asked officials of all the concerned departments to come up with a solution in the next meeting which will be announced soon.”

The city government implemented the odd-even scheme on a trial basis from January 1 to 15, eliciting a largely positive response and cooperation from the judiciary, environmentalists and the public.

The scheme, which allows private vehicles with odd and even last digits of their registration numbers to ply on roads on alternate dates, was largely aimed at curbing air pollution.

The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Officials of the transport department, environment department, Public Works Department (PWD), traffic police, experts from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) were also present.

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Rai said the fortnight-long plan was a success which brought the pollution level down.

“The odd-even scheme lowered the average pollution level in the city and resulted in less traffic on roads. Decongestion of roads in the capital improved the efficiency of public transport,” he added.

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