In a major drive to curb the alarming air pollution in the National Capital, the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced odd and even number formula for cars. Under this arrangement, cars with odd and even numbers would move on alternate days, an effort to reduce the number of cars on roads by 50 percent. It comes into effect from 1 January, 2016.
The rule will be applicable between 8 am and 8 pm every day and Sundays will be the only day exempted of the number formula. Any car carrying a patient or being driven by a single woman would also be exempted. Arvind Kejriwal stated that the trial run of the formula will be between 1 and 15 January. According to Delhi chief secretary KK Sharma, "Additional buses will be deployed by the government and we will also request the DMRC to deploy additional trains for plying commuters”.
Even the Chief Justice of India (CJI) TS Thakur has also come out in support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's proposed odd-even car scheme for running of private vehicles in the capital in a bid to curb rising air pollution. Commenting on the plan, Justice Thakur said “I think this is the least we (judges) can do if it can actually help the environment.”
Expressing concerns over the present environmental issues, Justice Thakur also said that it was evident that the situation in Delhi is very bad and there is a need to find ways to improve it. He added that Supreme Court judges should be open to the idea of car pooling.
At present, Delhi has over 4,700 DTC buses, by which nearly 45 lakh people commute daily and there’s a requirement of 11,000 new buses. Delhi Metro has 216 trains and is used by nearly 25 lakh passengers daily.
The Delhi government also mulls allowing movement of trucks after 11 PM, as they aim to slow down overall vehicular movement which was pointed out to be a major contributing factor to pollution from vehicular emission. The state government also plans to make it mandatory for vehicles to have Euro VI standards for vehicular emission from 2017. However, there is no decision yet on the hundreds of thousands of two-wheelers which environmentalists say also contribute to pollution and need to be curbed.