Delhi Odd-Even Round-3: 1.3 mn cars to go off roads, & top 10 developments

The road-space rationing scheme will be in place between November 13 and 17 from 8 am to 8 pm in the national capital

Odd-even scheme
Delhi Traffic personnel challaning a commuter during the previous round of the odd-even scheme. Photo: PTI

It's time for round three of the Odd-Even road-space rationing scheme first brought in last year by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) -led Delhi government, as Delhiites choke on toxic air. The Odd-Even plan will be in place for five days starting Monday, November 13. 

According to Safar (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), Delhi's air quality is forecast to be "severe" today, with PM10 at 895 microgrammes per cubic metre and PM2.5 at 546 microgrammes per cubic metre -- these are ultrafine particulates that have the ability to enter the respiratory system and subsequently the bloodstream of humans and animals, causing harm. Tomorrow's air quality forecast is also "severe", as is the forecast after three days from now.

ALSO READ: Delhi smog: NGT bans construction, industrial work and top 10 developments

The announcement of the third phase of the Odd-Even plan from November 13 to 17 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 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.

Here is all you need to know about the Odd-Even scheme and how it will impact you:

1) Dates and time: The road-space rationing scheme will be in place between November 13 and 17 from 8 am to 8 pm. 

2) List of those exempt from the Odd-Even scheme: There is quite a comprehensive list of people and specific vehicles that have been exempt from the scheme. Among chief ministers, only Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is not exempt from the scheme. Emergency vehicles like ambulances are exempt. Further, CNG and "women-only" vehicles and cars carrying a child in school uniform are also exempt. Like the last time, two-wheelers are not in the ambit of the scheme. Also, commercial vehicles, bearing yellow number plates, will not come under it. 

1. President 

2. Vice President 

3. Prime Minister 

4. Governors 

5. Chief Justice of India 

6. Speaker of Lok Sabha 

7. Union Ministers 

8. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha 

9. Chief ministers of states/Union territories except chief minister of Delhi 

10. Judges of Supreme Court of India 

11. Chairpersons, Union Public Service Commission, Chief Election Commissioner/Election Commissioners and Controller and Auditor General of India 

12. Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha 

13. Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha 

14. Lieutenant Governor of Delhi 

15. Chief Justice and judges of Delhi High Court 

16. Lokayukta 

17. Emergency vehicles - ambulance, fire brigade, hospital, prison 

18. Enforcement vehicles- vehicles of police, transport department, divisional commissioner, para military forces. 

19. Vehicles bearing ministry of defence number plates 

20. Vehicles which are having a pilot/escort 

21. SPG protectees 

22. Embassy vehicles bearing CD numbers 

23. CNG driven vehicles (these vehicles should prominently display sticker 'CNG Vehicle' on the front windscreen issued by LGL) 

24. Vehicles being used for medical emergencies (will be trust based) 

25. Women-only vehicles, including children of age upto 12 years travelling with them 

26. Vehicles driven/occupied by handicapped persons 

27. Vehicles of State Election Commission, Delhi and Chandigarh and vehicles deployed by the commission with election observers 

28. Vehicles carrying child/children in school uniform.

3) DTC to bring 500 more buses on to the roads: Gahlot said the government has directed the Delhi Transport Corporation to hire 500 buses from private contractors to tackle the rush of commuters during the Odd-Even week. (Read more here)

"Delhi Metro has also promised to provide 100 small buses during the period. Schools will be free to provide their buses voluntarily. However, there will be no compulsion," he said.  

"We are working to hire 500 additional buses as directed by the transport minister. In view of the short-time period, it is a tough task, but bus operators have promised to arrange buses for odd-even," said a senior official, who did not wish to be named. (Read more here)

The Delhi Transport Corporation has a bus fleet of around 4,000 buses while there are over 1,600 cluster buses that form the backbone of the public transport along with metro. 

According to the official data, DTC buses carry around 35 lakh passengers every day. Since the AAP came to power, the DTC has not been able to purchase any new bus. 

4) Where to get your CNG vehicle stickers: Vehicles will be exempt but need to have stickers in place. These will be available at 23 Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) gas stations across Delhi from 2 pm on Friday. (Read more here)

"The old stickers which were issued in the last edition of odd-even will be valid too," Gahlot said.  

In a statement, IGL also said the CNG stickers issued by it in the previous two rounds of Odd-Even would be valid. 

"For the convenience of those driving CNG cars, not having authorised stickers, IGL would be issuing stickers from 2 pm to 10 pm daily from Friday, November 10, 2017, onwards at 23 select CNG stations," it said. 

5)  Uber says no surge pricing: Taxi-hailing firm Uber on Thursday said it will not levy dynamic or surge pricing during the Odd-Even scheme's implementation. (Read here)

"This is a moment of crisis and public health emergency in Delhi NCR. Uber is committed to fully supporting the Odd-Even scheme. As a first step, we have decided to suspend dynamic pricing during the odd-even days. Additionally, rides to and from metro stations will also ply on reduced fares," Uber India general manager, north and Delhi-NCR, Prabhjeet Singh, said. 

Further, Gahlot has said that the Delhi government will ensure that there is no surge-pricing by app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber during the implementation of the Odd-Even scheme. (Read more here)

The minister also said that he has called a meeting with representatives of Ola and Uber on Friday to discuss the issue. 

6) 1.3 million vehicles to go off the roads: The number of registered vehicles in the national capital has crossed the 10-million mark. Out of this number, 3,172,842 are cars registered in the city. (Read more here

The same official said that according to rough estimates, about 1.3 million cars will go off the roads every day during the operation of the Odd-Even scheme.

7) Odd-Even scheme does not have backing of GRAP task force: The Delhi government's decision to enforce the Odd-Even policy from November 13 does not have the backing of the Centre-appointed task force which recommends such action to be taken under the graded response scheme to tackle hazardous air quality requiring emergency measures. (Read more here)

The task force which is supposed to suggest additional special measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) during air quality emergencies met on Thursday and made no such recommendation to the Delhi government while observing that pollution levels were already coming down.

The task force communicated its position to the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, which is empowered to enforce the RAP.

8) Exemptions could reduce effectiveness: Green bodies on Thursday gave mixed reactions to the Odd-Even road-rationing scheme that will be rolled out in Delhi, saying it might not be a long-term solution to curb pollution in the city. (Read more here)

While The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) said that the exemptions could reduce its effectiveness, Greepeace India said that other factors like construction, thermal power plants that contribute to pollution should also be tackled. 

In a statement, Sumit Sharma, associate director, TERI, said Odd-Even has limited potential for reducing pollution in Delhi. "As per TERI estimates, it led to reduction of four to seven per cent last year. We recommend its use for limited period only during air quality emergency conditions. Exemptions given in the scheme could further reduce its effectiveness," he said. 

9) Delhi HC called for Odd-Even: The Delhi High Court on Thursday observed that the Odd-Even scheme last year had unclogged the city and asked the Delhi government to consider implementing the "Odd-Even vehicle movement scheme" as a short-term measure.

10) Decision comes after NGT springs into action: The decision comes after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday banned construction and industrial activities in Delhi-NCR till November 14. Further, it said that no trucks from outside or within Delhi would be permitted to transport any construction material.