New Delhi: Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai on Friday said the response of the people was "positive" on the first day of the fortnight-long road rationing odd-even scheme.
"I have reports from all over Delhi that people are following the scheme. The final picture will emerge after we receive reports from different departments," Rai, who took a bus ride to assess implementation of the scheme, told mediapersons.
Owing to Ram Navmi holiday, light traffic was witnessed during the course of the full circle bus ride from Delhi secretariat, via Pragati Maidan, India Gate, Delhi Gate, Red Fort and Rajghat.
He said the response of the people was "positive" although some complaints were received from border areas where drivers from other states were caught for violation.
Comparing the second phase of odd-even scheme with trial run in first half of January this year, the minister said problems could be faced due to summer and schools being opened but solutions could be found.
"Following the extended weekend, traffic will increase on Monday when offices and schools will open but the government is prepared to tackle the situation," he said.
Rai appealed to residents of Delhi to leave "early" to drop their children to school so that they are not caught on the wrong side.
He also urged women drivers to help and drop back other children in their neighbourhood from school while picking their own children.
"Eighty five percent women drop children to schools and pick them back in the city. People of Delhi have given them exemption from the scheme and they should enquire about other children in their vicinity and arrange dropping them also at their homes."
Regarding complaints of over charging by App based cab aggregators providing carpooling options, Rai said that they were not registered in Delhi so government had limited role in restraining them but warned that "strict action" will be taken if any complaints are found.
He said that government will review success of the second phase of the odd-even before taking any decision on implementing odd-even every month for 15 days.
The Transport minister said that reduction in pollution and traffic congestion were "inter-linked" and both will be reduced during operation of odd-even scheme.
"The number of vehicles on Delhi roads will reduce by half during odd even. If 10 lakh vehicles are off road on any given day congestion will also be reduced. Consequently, pollution will go down since vehicles will consume less fuel due to congestion free movement," he said.
Rai said the number of buses have been "reduced" this time as many buses ran empty during trial run of the scheme in January.
"DTC will ply around 6000 buses. Additional 600 buses from schools and other private parties will further strengthen public transport. The number could vary after assessment of demand," he said.
DTC is procuring 1000 new buses and the first lot of 20 buses including 10 AC buses, is expected to arrive by the first week of May, he said.
The minister interacted with Civil Defense volunteers at India Gate and Mori Gate lauding their work during the hot day. He said officials will be directed to ensure proper arrangements for them including drinking water.
Earlier, Rai carpooled with Mehrauli MLA Naresh Yadav in his car to reach Delhi secretariat. Burari MLA Sanjeev Jha also carpooled with Yadav.
On the way to Secretariat, the minister stopped violators of the odd-even scheme and urged them to follow the same as it is necessary to bring down air pollution in the national capital.