Decision on lifting odd-even rule on Guru Nanak Jayanti by Friday: Kejriwal

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal | Photo: PTI

Saying that his government respects the feelings of the Sikh community, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said a decision on lifting the odd-even rule on November 11-12 to ensure hassle-free commute on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev will be taken by Friday.

He said the proposal is under active consideration of the government.

Various Sikh organisations have sought exemptions from the odd-even scheme on November 11-12, citing celebrations and religious functions in the city to mark the birth anniversary of the Sikhism founder.

"We respect the feelings of the Sikh community. Many Sikh organisations have approached us. We are having discussion and a decision on it will be taken by tomorrow (Friday)," Kejriwal told reporters at the flagging off ceremony of 100 new buses under a cluster scheme.

The odd-even rule, which commenced in Delhi on November 4, will continue till November 15. The scheme is among many measures taken by the government to combat air pollution in the city. Under the scheme, non-transport vehicles having odd or even digits of registration number are allowed to ply on odd and even dates respectively, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Transport minister Kailash Gahlot had on Wednesday told reporters that the proposal for overall exemption from the odd-even rule was under active consideration of the government. The fine for violation of the rule is Rs 4,000 under the amended Motor Vehicle Act. It was Rs 2,000 in previous two editions of odd-even schemes in 2016.

According to official data, a total of 345 violators of the odd-even rule were issued challans by teams of traffic police (194), transport (87) and revenue (64) departments by 2 p.m. on Thursday. The number of challans will go up after all violations till 8 p.m. are counted.

The AAP government has claimed that out of 30 lakh non-private vehicles, about 15 lakh have been taken off the roads due to the odd-even scheme, which has helped in improving the air quality in the city.

Two-wheelers, women motorists, vehicles carrying patients and school children in uniform are exempted from the scheme.

There are 29 categories of exempted vehicles including those of the President, Prime Minister, enforcement and emergency services agencies and embassies.

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