Odd-Even Scheme: Delhi govt to hire extra buses

New Delhi: The Delhi Cabinet on Thursday decided to hire 2,000 extra buses to ensure enough public transport from November 4 to 15 during the Odd-Even scheme days.

The Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, approved the Transport Department’s proposal for the engagement of extra CNG operated buses during the Odd-Even scheme days to augment the public transport. The Cabinet also approved the fixation of rates for these buses.

“The Department informed that for bringing down levels of air pollution, reducing road congestion and improving public transport during Odd-Even scheme days between November 4 and 15, it has allowed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to hire CNG operated 2,000 contract carriage buses,” an official statement said.

Delhi Transport Corporation has been directed to engage a sufficient number of additional buses from the private operators during the Odd-Even Scheme, as was done in the first and the second phase of the scheme, it said.

Vehicles carrying schoolchildren exempt, fine hiked: Meanwhilevehicles carrying schoolchildren in uniform are exempt from the Odd-Even restrictions in Delhi that will kick in from November 4 to 15, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told reporters today. On what would happen to people who drive back alone after dropping children to school, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, who sat beside Mr Kejriwal at the press briefing, said the government will give more information later on how exactly this aspect of the Odd-Even restrictions will be enforced.

“Any vehicle that carries schoolchildren would usually run between 7 am and 8 am. So the person must return home before 8 am (when Odd-Even becomes active),” Mr Gahlot said.

Women who drive alone, or with a child up to 12 years old, are exempt: Women who drive alone, or with a child up to 12 years old, are exempt from the vehicle-rationing programme that is aimed at reducing air pollution in the national capital, where the pollutant PM2.5 rises to dangerous levels during winter months. PM2.5 are fine particles that can penetrate the lungs and cause respiratory diseases.

Two-wheelers are exempt: “Two-wheelers are exempt from Odd-Even, which will be enforced between 8 am and 8 pm. It will be eased on Sunday,” Mr Kejriwal said, adding pollution in Delhi is due to multiple reasons, including emissions from within the national capital and not just from outside factors such as stubble-burning in neighbouring states.