Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that the Odd-Even scheme will pay a pivotal role in fight against deadly air pollution. Speaking to the media, Kejriwal said that the people of Delhi have accepted the scheme and complying with all rules and regulations. He further added that his government is concerned about the health of the people and children.
"We can see satellite images of smog in Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Delhi - there is a sheet of smog in northern India. We are highly concerned about the health of people and children. We are taking all necessary actions," Delhi CM Kejriwal said.
Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of playing politics over the issue, Kejriwal said, "I am sad that at a time when people of Delhi are supporting the Odd-Even scheme, BJP is doing politics on it."
The odd-even road rationing scheme, an anti-pollution measure, kicked in from 8 am on Monday in the city, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urging people to follow it for the sake of their family and kids.
Under the scheme, apart from exempted categories, only those non-transport four-wheeled vehicles will ply on the roads which have registration numbers ending with an even digit.
The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city at 7:30 am stood at 439, which falls in the “severe” category. An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’. An AQI above 500 falls in the ‘severe plus’ category.
“Namaste Delhi, odd-even is starting from today to reduce pollution. Please do follow it for yourself, your family, kids and your breath. Share cars. It will strengthen friendship, form relations, save petrol and pollution,” Kejriwal said in an early morning tweet in Hindi.
Violations of the odd-even rule will invite a fine of Rs 4,000. Over 600 teams of Delhi Traffic Police and the transport and revenue departments have been deployed for a strict implementation of the scheme across the city.
Under the scheme, which will be implemented from 8 am to 8 pm till November 15, non-transport four-wheeled vehicles with registration numbers ending with an odd digit (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) will not be allowed on the roads on November 4, 6, 8, 12 and 14.
Similarly, vehicles with registration numbers ending with an even digit (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) will not be allowed on the roads on November 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15.
Two-wheelers and electric vehicles have been exempted from the restrictions, but not CNG-driven vehicles.
Women-only vehicles with children aged up to 12 years and vehicles occupied by physically-disabled persons will also be exempted.
Twenty-nine categories of vehicles, including those of President, prime minister, emergency and enforcement vehicles, have been exempted.
However, the vehicles of the Delhi chief minister and ministers will not be exempted.