New Delhi: Municipal councillors, commissioners and other civic officials today welcomed the
rolling out of the odd-even scheme, saying they would extend full cooperation to make the road-rationing experiment a success.
"We are fully abiding by the rules prescribed during this 15-day period. And, thought it's a kind of light day today, one could actually feel that it was easier to drive on the streets. I mean normally, I would be stuck at India Gate hexagon area, but today we just whizzed past it," NDMC Commissioner PK Gupta told PTI.
All three municipal corporations -- North, East and South (NDMC, EDMC and SDMC), besides other civic and urban agencies like the DMRC and DDA have been instructed to allow parking of vehicles according to the numbers only.
"As per the directive, we are allowing parking of odd-numbered vehicles today only and we will follow the rule for the remainder of the scheme also. Though it means revenue losses for us but it's a small price to pay for a cleaner
environment," Gupta said.
The NDMC Commissioner said some of the municipal officials also carpooled to support the initiative.
"I myself have an odd-numbered car, which I drove to office today, tomorrow, I will think of an alternative, but we
will ensure strict implementation of the rule," he said.
Congress councillor Abhishek Dutt, of Andrews Ganj Ward said, "As per the vision of his party, I welcome any step that is in the interest of people and for the benefit of environment."
Dutt's ward in south Delhi, includes areas like Defence Colony and parts of Lajpat Nagar, where vehicular traffic and parking are major issues.
"We are fully cooperating with this initiative, and in fact, I have been encouraging people to carpool in my area.
Also, three days back, we launched a campaign to promote use of cycle. We are all for a greener environment," he said.
"However, I also think that this scheme should have been implemented only after strengthening the necessary
supplementary and complementary infrastructure, like increased security in metro and boosting of last-mile connectivity.
Without which it would just remain an eyewash," Dutt said.
The Andrews Ganj Councillor also alleged that, "besides, the benefit that it may accrue to people of Delhi, the whole scheme is timed to divert the attention from hike in salary of AAP MLAs and the Jan Lokpal issue."
The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated in 2012 into NDMC, EDMC and SDMC, with
each having its own mayor and a commissioner.
South Delhi Mayor Subhash Arya said that any move that encourages use of public transport is welcome.
"It is good that people are being told about the importance of public transport. The burgeoning population and
with it, the huge rise in number of cars, has taken a toll on our streets, and parking has become another woe for
Delhiites," he said.
"This scheme, we don't know its efficacy yet, but will certainly help reduce pressure on the roads and cut pollution level too," Arya said.
The 71-year-old Mayor, a four-time BJP councillor from Rajouri Garden, has seen the era of the trams and double-decker 'Suvidha' buses, the latter being run by the then unified MCD, and says, "the discipline and the courtesy people displayed in those days, is hard to find today."
The 70-year-old Kasturba Nagar Ward Councillor Ravi Kalsi, who got nostalgic about the tram era too, says, "as a
representative of his area, he would make all efforts to make the scheme a success."
Kalsi, a Congress councillor, said, "We as part of the municipal corporation, should cooperate to do contribute to
something that is for the betterment of the environment."
"My cars are all even number, so I would think of other ways in alternate days," he said.
The ambitious odd-even scheme of Delhi government, a first such intervention in the country to combat spiralling
air pollution, got off to a decent start on new year with a volume of cars on the city roads coming down significantly amid deployment of thousands of policemen and moderately augmented public transport.
An additional 3,000 buses have been deployed in the city as part of efforts to augment public transport. The metro has also decided to run 70 extra trips.
"Delhi will show the way to the rest of the country," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told reporters outside his
However, the real test of the scheme's effectiveness will be on Monday as a number of private offices are closed today. Also the schools are having winter vacation, which would have taken off some load from the traffic.