'Successful' even on Day 2: Delhi government

The impact of the restrictions was not immediately reflected in the levels of suspended particulate matter which remained on the higher side keeping the average air quality 'very poor'.

PTI| Updated: Jan 03, 2016, 00:57 AM IST

New Delhi: The second day of the odd-even vehicular restriction trial, termed as "successful" by the Delhi government, saw Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia cycle to office, roll out of even-numbered cars on the city's streets and a marginal jump in the number of prosecutions.

The impact of the restrictions was not immediately reflected in the levels of suspended particulate matter which remained on the higher side keeping the average air quality 'very poor'.

Transport Minister Gopal Rai took a bus ride to take stock of the situation and spoke to volunteers deployed on the roads tasked with handing over roses to errant motorists. "Two days trials show that people of Delhi are ready for it," he said.

Across the city, including at major arteries in central Delhi, traffic police were seen stopping violators. A total of 276 violators were challaned by traffic and the city's transport department as opposed to yesterday's 203.

The unprecedented restrictive measures, aimed at curbing pollution, was rolled out in the city yesterday that led to a major cut in the number of cars on city roads.

Sisodia, whose car bears an odd registration number, cycled to the All India Radio office at 8.30 AM from his residence and then pedalled down to Delhi Secretariat after taking part in a radio show there.

A thousand more traffic police personnel were deployed today even as more volunteers came out in the streets encouraging Delhiites to support ambitious drive to curb air pollution and vehicular congestion in the city.

The traffic flow which was relatively less in the morning increased noon onwards with volunteers on roads ensuring plying of even cars.

"1000 more officials were deployed today because the traffic police could not operate at its optimum capacity yesterday, as large number of police officials were deployed on the road till 3 AM on the intervening night of new year," a senior police official said.

While the school children who took the awareness campaign lead yesterday, were not seen today, more civil defence volunteers were seen on busy stretches holding posters and guiding the public to abide by the rules.

The real test for the scheme will be on Monday, the first working day of the week with several offices and courts opening after new year and week-end holidays.

Meanwhile, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) said that more than 38 lakh commuters opted for buses on the first day of odd-even road rationing scheme implemented for 15 days.

According to the public transporter, 5,700 buses, including 2,000 private buses which also ply under the newly-introduced 'DTC Paryavaran Bus Sewa', came out on the capital roads yesterday.

The Delhi Metro is running an additional 70 trips since yesterday.

On the pollution front, authorities released conflicting reports on the impact of the vehicular restrictions on January 1 primarily due to different comparative parameters.

The government statement said that level of pollutants showed a "marked decrease" as compared to previous year, while The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) said pollution levels were more than December 31 and "violated" the prescribed limits.

An "overwhelmed" Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said yesterday that the radical initiative of the AAP government has received widespread acceptance among the people and that Delhi would "show the way" to the rest of the country.

The pilot plan will stay in force till January 15. As many as 25 categories have received exemption from the restrictions, including emergency service vehicles, taxis and cars being driven by women, which may have only female co- passengers and children up to age of 12.

Two wheelers and CNG-run vehicles have also been exempted. Under the scheme, private cars bearing odd registration plates are allowed to ply on odd dates while those with even numbers shall do so on even dates. Those caught violating the scheme have to pay a penalty of Rs 2,000.