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The civic body's suggestion to implement odd-even scheme for vehicular traffic in Mumbai has invited criticism from the Opposition, which said it was an attempt by the municipal corporation to "hide its sins" and admission of failure of public transport system.
A report prepared by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) has suggested implementation of odd-even road-rationing scheme in the financial capital to keep vehicular pollution under check and reduce congestion on roads.
Opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said the suggestion only proves failure of public transport system operated by BMC, which is ruled by the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.
"The BMC is tactfully resorting to a sin hiding measure. Public modes of transport have failed miserably and the civic body's failure to do something about it has resulted in this suggestion. The citizens have to pay huge taxes while buying a car in Mumbai. They first need to be reimbursed with their money before an odd-even measure can be implemented," NCP legislator Kiran Pawaskar said on Saturday.
Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said before implementing the scheme, the BMC should complete the pending infrastructure projects.
"Corruption in the BMC is at its peak. In the last three years, Rs 9,343 crore has been spent on constructing roads that have a defect liability period.
"Before the period is completed we see potholes and the BMC is now floating new tenders to repair them. The BMC should focus on curbing corruption rather than rushing with this scheme," he said.
Social activist Shadaab Patel, who had moved the Bombay High Court seeking implementation of the scheme in Mumbai, has welcomed the BMC's move.
Acting on Patel's petition, the HC had in January issued notices to the State Government, BMC and sought their response on introducing the odd-even plan for private cars in Mumbai on lines of the pattern adopted in Delhi.
"It is a very positive move by the BMC. We welcome the stand taken by it and hope the state government also considers the suggestion in a positive manner... Air pollution levels in Mumbai are not very different from Delhi. In Mumbai, private vehicles constitute 80% of the road traffic. Implementing the scheme will ensure emergency services like ambulances, fire brigade and police vehicles are able to reach at the required spots on time," Patel said.
Under the scheme in the national capital, cars with odd and even-numbered license plates ply on alternate days.