Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday listed a series of exemptions, including for women and schoolchildren in uniform, to the planned “odd-even" scheme of road traffic restrictions.
Kejriwal said the scheme, to run during 4-15 November, will apply to all non-transport four-wheeled vehicles, as well as vehicles coming in from other states.
Two-wheelers will be exempted.
According to the scheme, odd-numbered vehicles will be allowed to ply on odd dates and even-numbered vehicles will be allowed on even dates. Restrictions will be enforced from 8am to 8pm, except on Sunday the 10th of November. Violation will be fined ₹4,000 —double the amount the last time the scheme was implemented in 2016.
“Vehicles used for medical emergencies, women-only vehicles and those carrying schoolchildren or disabled persons will be exempted," said Kejriwal. There will be no exemption for Delhi government ministers and the chief minister.
However, there’s a long list of VIPs who will be exempt. These include: The vehicles of the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, state governors, Chief Justice of India, Speakers of the Lok Sabha, Union ministers, and leaders of the Opposition of both the Houses, Supreme Court judges, chairman of UPSC, chief election commissioners and CAG, deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha and deputy speaker of Lok Sabha and lieutenant-general of NCT/Delhi and judges of high court and members of the Lokayukta. Enforcement vehicles and defence vehicles will also be exempted.
The scheme is being reintroduced amid worsening air pollution levels in the capital.
“We are encouraging people to share vehicles, to reduce congestion on the roads and bring down the pollution. But if we increase the parking fee also during the same time, it will lead to chaos, so there is no such plan as of now," Kejriwal added, responding to a query.
According to SAFAR (System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research), the air quality levels remain at the higher end of the poor category on Thursday. The delayed withdrawal of the monsoon has also led to worsening of the situation since wind speeds have decreased leading to accumulation of pollutants in the air.
“Our research shows that vehicles contribute about 28% in Delhi’s PM2.5 concentrations in winter. Within the vehicular category, the PM2.5 share of cars was 12% and two-wheelers was 25%, so government’s decision to exempt two-wheelers will reduce the potential impact of the odd-even scheme," said Dr Sumit Sharma, director, Earth Science and Climate Change, Teri.