Odd-Even 3.0, which will be rolled out in Delhi from November 4 to 15, will continue to have the prior exemptions as seen in the last two phases of the scheme. This means that women drivers and two-wheelers will continue to be exempted from the scheme. “Our public transport system is not robust enough to accommodate the surge in passengers if exemption is not granted to two-wheeler riders and women,” Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot was quoted as saying by Times of India. The odd-even scheme was implemented in Delhi for the first time in January, 2016. The scheme was aimed to reduce pollution and smog in Delhi. The scheme ended on November 11, 2017.
On September 13, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that the third edition of the road rationing scheme would be implemented from November 4 to November 15 as part of measures to combat high-level air pollution caused due to stubble burning in neighbouring states during winters. Earlier, a fine of Rs 2,000 had been imposed on the violators of the rule. During the scheduled 12-day scheme, vehicles will ply alternately on odd and even dates as per their registration numbers. In addition to this, CNG vehicles along with a VVIPs such as the President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India among others as well. Emergency vehicles are also exempted from this rationing scheme.
The chief minister announced his seven-point action plan to tackle pollution due to crop burning which includes distribution of masks, mechanised sweeping of roads, tree plantation, and special plans for 12 pollution hot spots in the city. Under the scheme, odd and even numbered vehicles ply on alternate days.
Earlier in January, the Supreme Court had said that it is better not to live in New Delhi, as the national Capital resembles a gas chamber. The court was hearing a matter related to air pollution in the National Capital Region, PTI reported.
“In the morning and evening, there is so much pollution and traffic congestion,” Justice Arun Mishra said during the hearing. “It is better not to be in Delhi. I do not wish to settle in Delhi. It is difficult to live in Delhi.”
Delhi has been battling severe air pollution in recent times. In January this year, Delhi was designated as the most polluted city in the world. Pollution levels hit 500 in some parts of Delhi, and there was very poor visibility in some areas. Last year the high was 450 on 23 December. India is home to the world’s 14 most polluted cities, with Delhi the sixth worst, the World Health Organization has said. Toxic air caused 1.24 million deaths in India in 2017, or 12.5% of the total, according to a study published in Lancet Planetary Health.