Will stop 'odd-even' scheme if people face trouble, says Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today indicated that the 'odd-even' restrictions for plying of private vehicles will be tried for a limited period and will be "halted" in case it creates trouble for people.

With experts and Opposition parties questioning the practicality of the scheme, he said many things are to be thrashed out before its implementation including talks with the Centre and police as they will have to be "taken on board".

Seeking to assuage concerns, he said it was an in-principle decision and will be "thought through" for at least 20 days and that a committee of top officials has been appointed to work out details like exemptions in case of medical emergencies.

Kejriwal said his government had planned to introduce the scheme at a later stage after building a dedicated and elevated bus corridor but was forced to take the drastic step following a situation of "emergency and panic" in the wake of Delhi High Court's observation that the city has become a "gas chamber".

"We thought when we will be prepared at that level (bus corridor), we will start imposing some kind of restrictions on private vehicles like cars. This emergency situation that has come now, I think for its cooling down, if not anything else at least for few days cars will have to be removed from the streets.

"Many things need to be sorted out. Let's try for few days, a week to 10 days if there is much trouble it will be stopped. Or will implement it 15 days later by learning from the experience. There are several options," he said at the HT Leadership Summit.

In a radical step to curb air pollution, the city government yesterday announced that private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers will be allowed to ply only on alternate days starting January 1.

The Chief Minister said apart from the elevated corridor for buses, he had thought of redesigning roads, augmenting public transport by bringing at least 10,000 buses before introducing restrictive measures.

Talking about initiatives taken by his government yesterday to tackle pollution, Kejriwal said vacuum cleaning on all PWD roads will begin from April 1 and grass will be planted on side kerbs and central verges of all the arterial roads to remove dust.

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