By Nivedita Singh
New Delhi, Nov 16 : The third edition of the Odd-Even scheme, implemented between November 4 and 15 in the national capital, witnessed about 4,806 violators, fewer than the numbers during the first two editions of the road rationing system in 2016, with officials giving the credit to the citizens.
“The number of violators was less this time. While over 10,000 fines were issued in the first edition in 2016, the second edition registered close to 8,000 fines. This time, the number was below 5,000. People decided to follow the rule as they want to reduce pollution,” a government official said.
The official also said doubling the fine could have also led to better compliance and fewer violators being booked this time.
“The government is satisfied that more people complied with the rules this time,” said the official.
He said there was more awareness among the people about environment and the ill-effects of pollution on their health.
The city witnesses the Odd-Even scheme twice in 2016, first between January 1 and 15, and then between April 15 and 30, with Rs 2,000 as a fine for a violation.
The Odd-Even is a road rationing system in which vehicles with registration numbers ending with even digits — 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 — are allowed to run on even dates, and those ending with odd numbers — 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 — are permitted to ply on odd dates.
The scheme aims to curb the number of cars on roads and limit the pollution caused by them. Violators attract a penalty of Rs 4,000.
Though Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier said that he might extend the scheme as the air quality continued to remain very poor in Delhi-NCR, he said on Friday the government would take a call on extending the scheme on Monday.
“We don’t want to impose the Odd-Even scheme unnecessarily. We will see air quality. If it improves, we will not extend the scheme. Otherwise, we will take the decision on extending it on Monday morning,” Kejriwal said.
Another factor for fewer challans, according to an official from the Environment Department, was that the first two editions were longer and the current edition also had two additional days when the scheme was not implemented.
“The first and second editions were longer. They were for 15 days with only Sundays for free movement. However, this time the scheme was only for 12 days, and in that, the Odd-Even rule was lifted for two days on November 11 and 12 for hassle-free commute on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev,” the official added.
(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at email@example.com)