Implementation of Delhi decision on vehicle rationing mired in confusion

Delhi traffic police, which is tasked with the management of vehicular movement in the national capital, said it had not received any information about the decision.

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) A day after Delhi government`s decision to restrict movement of private vehicles on even and odd classification of registration numbers, confusion continued to prevail over its implementation with Delhi Police saying it had not received any formal communication.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who held a meeting on the issue, sought to allay apprehensions of Delhi residents over the sudden move to restrict vehicles, saying it would be on experimental basis and would be stopped if there were problems.

"In principle, a decision has been taken. Many things are yet to be thrashed out ... We will experiment with it for some time. May be for 15 days. If there are too many problems, it will be stopped," Kejriwal said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

The issue #DelhiOddEvenLogic trended on Twitter, with netizens mocking at the government. 

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) welcomed the Delhi government`s decision to curb pollution in the national capital by plying odd and even number vehicles on alternate days in the metropolis from January 1. 

Officials said the last digit of the registration number would be seen to determine even and odd number.

The decision of Delhi government will apply to some 95 lakh vehicles registered in Delhi and lakhs which come to the metropolis from neighbouring states such as Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab everyday.

About 1,500 new vehicles are added every day to the city roads.

The sweeping move - like the one taken in Beijing in 2013 - came after the Delhi High Court compared the national capital to "a gas chamber" and sought immediate action from the central and Delhi governments.

Delhi traffic police, which is tasked with the management of vehicular movement in the national capital, said it had not received any information about the decision.

"I can`t comment on the issue. There is no clarification on it. We just heard it through media and read it in newspapers," Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander told IANS.

Social media site Facebook and messaging app were flooded with messages, pictures mocking the government`s decision.

"A fair Patel girl 23 years old with an even numbered car looking for a good pay scale boy with an odd numbered car," tweeted a woman.

Taking a dig at the 400 percent rise in salary of Aam Aadmi Party MLAs, one tweet said: "Got it. 400 percent salary hike of AAP MLAs is to buy both odd and even number cars to drive everyday."

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the air quality of Delhi is said to be "very poor."

When air quality index ranges between 301 and 400, the air is said to cause respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.

The CSE, a public interest research and advocacy organisation based in Delhi, on Saturday said it welcomed the firm decision of the Delhi government to cut down traffic volume and also its decisions to eliminate emissions from coal powered plants and push for tighter emissions standards to curb killer air pollution in the city.

The CSE`s executive director-research and advocacy and head of its air pollution control unit Anumita Roychowdhury urged the Delhi government to detail out an effective implementation strategy and organise public outreach for glitch-free implementation.

"Alarming trends in air pollution levels in the capital city and its devastating impacts on public health have made the city desperate for urgent solutions. Such choking peak levels demand aggressive and drastic immediate measures," Roychowdhury said.

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