Delhi Odd Even Scheme: Government Announces Exemptions For Women Drivers & Two-Wheelers

The Central Transport Department has made a few suggestions for the odd-even road rationing that will be in effect between 4 November and 11 November. Cars driven by women are likely to be exempted from the rule.

The department also suggested that no exemption be made for the private CNG run cars, and that two-wheelers could be exempted only during peak hours.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had asked the Transport Department for suggestions about the odd-even rule earlier. The department also suggested that all Delhi government offices operate between 11am and 8pm in order to lessen traffic during peak hours.

Mr Kejriwal had announced that the odd-even rule would be implemented during November in order to tackle that smog the city faces due to pollution and because of stubble burning in neighbouring states. The odd-even scheme was announced as part of a comprehensive winter action plan.

A transport department official said that the suggestions made by the department have been approved by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot. The department had a discussion about all categories of vehicles before making suggestions. Women drivers will be exempted from the scheme as it is important from a safety point of view.

The theory behind exempting women from the previous editions of the odd-even scheme was that women feel a sense of security in their own vehicles, and should be allowed to take the safest mode of transport.

The transport department suggests that all vehicles driven by women, vehicles with women as passengers, and vehicles with school children (dressed in uniforms) up to the age of 12 should be exempted from the scheme.

In previous editions of the odd-even scheme all two-wheelers had been exempted. The department feels different this time around and suggested that two-wheelers should be exempted only during peak hours - from 8am to 11am, and 5pm to 8pm.

The reason behind exempting two-wheelers is because the city's public transport system is not good enough to accommodate an increase in traffic. Delhi has over 70 lakh two-wheelers, and without the exemptions, over 35 lakh riders and lakhs of pillion riders will have to turn to public transport. The Metro and other public transport services are unprepared to cater to this surge.

All CNG run vehicles enjoyed exemption during the last edition, but that may change this time around. The Delhi government's transport department has suggested that non-commercial CNG run vehicles should not be kept out of the odd-even restrictions.

The department says that there has been large scale misuse of the exemption earlier, and that traffic police personnel find it difficult to identify CNG run vehicles from a distance. This is because the CNG stickers on windshields are invisible until the vehicle comes closer.

The exemption is extended to the vehicles used by of the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the Central Ministers, the Chief Justice of India, Governors and Chief Ministers of other states, Embassy Vehicles, and those bearing Ministry of Defence number plates.

The Delhi government has implemented the odd-even scheme twice so far - in January and April 2016. The one planned in December 2017 had to be called off after the National Green Tribunal refused to exempt two wheelers from the scheme.

Thoughts About The Exemptions For The Odd-Even Scheme

The only exemptions we think are justified are women drivers, vehicles with children in them, and all vehicles bearing military plates. All the other suggestions are fairly bogus. Why must the leaders of the country and states be exempted from the scheme? They are citizens first (unless all the social science and civics taught at schools are bogus too). And we see no point in a change of working hours of the government offices - the officials aren't in the office half the time, and do no work during the other half.

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Article Published On: Saturday, October 12, 2019, 12:00 [IST]
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