Delhi’s new odd-even plan for cars took off today in a drastic step to cut down smog in the world’s most polluted city. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says he is “overwhelmed by the response.”
1. Today, only odd-numbered cars are allowed on the roads as part of a 15-day plan to allow private vehicles on alternate days.
2. “I am truly overwhelmed by the response. People have achieved the impossible. I am sure Delhi will show the way,” said Arvind Kejriwal.
3. Those with even-numbered cars are being stopped and fined Rs. 2,000. Among such offenders was a BJP parliamentarian, Satyapal Singh.
4. Mr Kejriwal, who has an odd-numbered car, carpooled with two ministers – Gopal Rai, the Transport Minister, and Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
5. Tourism minister Kapil Mishra has taken a motorbike to work. Environment Minister Imran Hussain, who has an even-numbered car, used an autorickshaw.
6. Many offices and residents’ associations have arranged car-pools. The union home ministry has also organised car-pooling for its officers.
7. Exceptions have been made for medical emergencies, women, VIPs, CNG cars and two-wheelers.
8. Volunteers are out on the roads carrying placards explaining the rules. They cannot stop cars, but are handing out flowers to offenders.
9. To cope with the extra pressure on the public transport network, around 3,000 private buses have been hired. The metro will make 70 extra trips. Special buses are ferrying people between Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. A bike taxi service has been introduced.
10. Delhi Police Chief BS Bassi said: “I request people to cooperate with us for the next 15 days.”