The second iteration of the Delhi government’s intervention to control air pollution will begin Friday with another fortnight of the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme. Till April 30, on odd dates only cars whose registration plates end with an odd number can ply and on even dates only cars with number plates that end in an even number can ply, while the rule does not apply for Sundays.
Like the first phase that began January 1, few complications are expected since Friday is Ram Navami, a public holiday.
With just one extra exemption, parents driving children to school, exemptions from the earlier phase continue including VIPs, two-wheelers, emergency vehicles and cars driven by single women.
The government has also decided to shift its focus from awareness last time to strict enforcement starting Friday. The transport department Thursday announced it will tighten enforcement for the second phase of odd-even. To this end, almost 2,500 personnel will be deployed at 200 points of the city, with ex-servicemen assigned the task of patrolling inner streets.
Transport Minister Gopal Rai said, “We will deploy 400 newly hired ex-servicemen besides the 180 transport department personnel already on enforcement duty. The ex-servicemen will be deployed in mobile teams with powers to challan violators.”
The capital is divided into 11 zones with 10 sectors in each for the programme and three teams of enforcement personnel have been deployed in each sector. “The teams will be changing positions every day within their sector, keeping vigil on inner roads and streets where violators are likely to drive to escape main road junctions,” said Rai.
He also announced that the government will be pressing ambulance services, distributing caps and umbrellas and ensuring provision of water for the 5,331 civil defence volunteers, 1,331 more than last time, to be deployed across the city.
“It is summer time and we do not want anyone to fall ill. The task of standing on roads, giving flowers and spreading awareness will be an exacting one. So we appeal to NGOs, RWAs and others to boost their morale. The government is providing as many services as possible for them. We are also thinking about providing lemonade,” said Rai. “The civil defence volunteers will be doing Gandhigiri, spreading awareness and offering flowers to those who do not obey the rules. They do not have the power to challan.”
Nearly 2,000 traffic police personnel will be on duty, regulating traffic as well enforcing odd-even, said government officials. “Traffic police have mapped out 200 points in the city where they will be keeping a watch,” said Rai.
The transport department has also kept a task force of 20 personnel for emergencies. “The priority areas will be all ISBTs, stations, hospitals, markets, lower courts, border entry points, educational institutions, major road junctions, airport premises and all government official areas,” said Rai. He added the government had appealed for social policing, especially requesting school students and RWAs to persuade car owners not to break rules.
Almost 1,000 personnel will be given CNG sticker readers to verify the authenticity of those being used. Those found with fake stickers will face cases of cheating under the Indian Penal Code, warned Rai.