NEW DELHI: In a last-ditch effort to control the deteriorating air quality in Delhi and adjoining areas, the Odd-Even scheme of Delhi government will come into effect from Monday (November 4). The scheme will remain in place till November 15 and will be applicable from 8 am to 8 pm.
Under the odd-even scheme, private vehicles with registration numbers ending with an odd digit (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) will be allowed on roads on odd dates and those with an even digit (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) on even dates. The rules will also be applicable on vehicles with registration numbers of other states.
On October 17, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had told the media that the odd-even vehicle scheme will only be implemented on "non-transport four-wheeled vehicles". He also announced that two-wheelers and emergency vehicles would be exempted from the scheme.
Just like the previous two times, cars with women driving alone, all women occupants and women drivers accompanied by children less than 12 years will be exempted from the scheme. Vehicles carrying children in school uniforms will also be exempted. The vehicles with persons with disabilities will also be exempted.
President and Vice President of India, Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Justice of India, Lok Sabha speaker, Leaders of Opposition in the Parliament, Union Ministers, Supreme Court judges, high court judges, Chief Ministers, Lieutenant Governors, UPSC Chairperson, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, members of the Lokayukta and defence vehicles will be exempted from the scheme. However, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other members of state cabinet will not be exempted from this scheme. This time privately-owned CNG vehicles will not be exempted from the scheme.
A fine of Rs 4,000 would be levied for violating the rules of the odd-even scheme. Delhi Metro would make additional trips during the odd-even scheme and the state government has decided to deploy 2,000 private buses to boost public transportation system.
Delhi has been facing the problem of severe air pollution for the last few years and the air quality dips significantly during winter. "All scientists and experts are saying that pollution from stubble burning is coming to Delhi, due to which there is pollution everywhere. We don`t want to do any blame game, there should be no politics at this stage. All governments should come together and discuss the issue," Kejriwal said on Sunday. The Delhi CM urged everyone to follow the Odd-Even scheme
On Sunday (November 3), the air pollution levels in Delhi escalated to hazardous and visibility dropped significantly. For the first time in this season, the Air Quality Index (AQI) breached the 999-mark at several places in Delhi. 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". Above 500 is "severe-plus emergency" category.