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Delhi smog: Twitterati divided as Capital gears up for odd-even on Monday

Women drivers, ambulances, vehicles carrying schools kids exempt; Kejriwal himself comes under rule's ambit

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

A traffic policeman discharges his duty as India Gate is enveloped in dense smog, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
A traffic policeman discharges his duty as India Gate is enveloped in dense smog, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

The air quality is declining unabatedly and pollution is reaching distressing levels in Delhi. To combat this, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government’s ‘Odd-even’ rule has made a comeback with its third innings. The rule will be applicable from Monday, November 13 and will last until November 17. Under this scheme, vehicles with odd and even numbers will be permitted to run on alternate days. The announcement of the third phase of the Odd-Even plan was made by Delhi's Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot at a press conference on Thursday. He said the modalities of the scheme, under which private four-wheeled vehicles with odd and even registration numbers were allowed to run on alternate days from 8 am to 8 pm, would be the same as the previous phases. The traffic plan was announced on a day the Delhi High Court said there was an "emergency situation" vis-a-vis pollution in Delhi-NCR and asked the Delhi government to consider implementing cloud seeding to induce artificial rain apart from vehicle rationing on roads. The first phase of the Odd-Even rule was implemented by the Delhi government from January 1 to 15 and the second phase from April 15 to 30 last year. What is the odd-even rule? Under this scheme, vehicles are allowed to run across the city, based on their registration numbers. For example, if a vehicle’s registration number ends with an odd digit, it will be allowed on the road on November 13, while those ending with an even number can be driven on November 14, and so on. For example, on 13, 15 and 17 November you can only drive a vehicle whose registration number ends in an odd digit while vehicles with even numbers could be driven on 14 November and 16 November. Why is Odd-even rule being enforced? The comprehensive action plan of ‘Odd-even’ has been put to check on city’s “alarming” pollution rate. Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has come up with this scheme to bring down the city’s proportion. Restricting the number of cars running on the roads can lead to dissipation of pollution levels. However, the members of Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) said that November 13 "is too late" as the "emergency or severe-plus" category under GRAP calls for immediate implementation of the odd-even traffic rationing move. The "emergency or severe-plus" situation arises after the major pollutants -- PM2.5 and PM10, or particles in the air with a diameter less than 2.5 and 10mm, remain above 300 and 500 units respectively for at least 48 hours. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Thursday informed that both PM2.5 and 10 had been beyond the "required limit" since past 52 hours. Odd-even rule exemptions: ALSO READ: Delhi Odd-Even Round-3: 1.3 mn cars to go off roads, & top 10 developments There is a list of people and specific vehicles that have been exempted from the scheme. School children in uniform will be exempted from the ‘Odd-even rule’ in this third phase. Arvind Kejriwal-led govt has exempted women from the odd-even rule in its first and second phase that continues to be the same this time too. Among chief ministers, only Delhi CM is not exempt from the scheme. Emergency vehicles like ambulances are exempt.

Further, CNG vehicles are also excused. Like the last time, two-wheelers are not within the ambit of the scheme. Also, commercial vehicles, bearing yellow number plates, will not come under it. People’s reaction The first phase of Odd-Even scheme was declared a success by the Delhi Chief Minister, The second phase was also reported to be a success. Though there were people who were also unhappy with the scheme. There was a heavy rush at metro junctions. A large number of people also appreciated the initiative. After the odd-even rule was announced in its third phase, people took to social media to express their opinion. While few Twitter users appreciated the move with the hashtag #ISupportOddEven, others were seen finding out dodges. Here’s how people reacted on Twitter:

First Published: Fri, November 10 2017. 15:11 IST