New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced the return of the Odd-Even traffic scheme in the national capital post Diwali, from November 4 to 15.
Announcing this at a press conference, the Delhi CM also praised the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act passed by the Narendra Modi government, saying the new law has brought a lot of improvement in the traffic situation in the national capital.
Kejriwal said the Odd-Even scheme was aimed at combating high levels of air pollution in winters due to crop burning in neighbouring states.
He also announced a seven-point action plan to tackle pollution due to crop burning, including distribution of masks, mechanised sweeping of roads, tree plantation, and plans for 12 pollution hot spots in the city.
Kejriwal said that 1,000 electric buses will be introduced in the national capital and a bus aggregator policy will be announced soon.
“If you enforce Odd-Even for a long time, the implementation becomes troublesome. As of now, Odd-Even will only be restricted to this time frame,” said Kejriwal.
Emergency vehicles will not be subject to the rationing, he said.
He asserted that Supreme Court guidelines during Diwali on firecrackers will be strictly enforced.
Under the scheme, odd and even numbered vehicles ply on alternate days.
In view of the air pollution caused by stubble burning, Kejriwal said the AAP government would procure masks on a large scale and distribute them to the people of Delhi during winter.
“Government will procure the masks on a large scale and will distribute them among the people. They will be distributed in October as the smog from the stubble penetrates Delhi in November. N95 masks that are considered best are being procured,” said the CM.
Kejriwal also praised the Motor Vehicles Act passed by the Narendra Modi government.
“There has been an improvement in Delhi’s traffic ever since the new Motor Vehicles Act has been implemented. If there is any clause due to which people are facing more problem and we have the power to reduce the fine then we will certainly do it,” he said.
His statement comes as some states have said they would be reducing the fines.
On Thursday, environmental experts had met Kejriwal and backed his government’s odd-even scheme as an “emergency” measure to bring down air pollution levels in winters.
“The experts, Dr Ken Lee, executive director of EPIC (Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago) India, and O P Agarwal, CEO, WRI (World Resources Institute) India, say Delhi’s odd-even policy had impact and recommended pollution masks in winter months,” a government statement said.