A day after Odd-Even Scheme trial ends, Delhi witnesses traffic jams


Delhi returned to its old, chaotic traffic mismanagement and jams on Saturday, a day after a 15-day “successful” trial of Odd-Even Formula of the AAP government ended.

Traffic jams were witnessed at several traditional congested areas of the city, despite lesser number of vehicles were supposed to ply as it was a Saturday when many government and private offices are closed, thus lesser vehicles on the roads.

While announcing the “success” of the Odd-Even Formula on Friday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said his government would analyse the results of the 15-day trial period and then announce the next plan of action.

But Saturday’s traffic situation would compel him and his cabinet colleagues, especially transport minister Gopal Rai, to think hard and possibly implement a permanent traffic regulatory scheme quickly than they would have otherwise.

If Saturday was chaotic, think of what would happen on Monday — the first one after 28 December — when traffic would be out in full force on the Delhi roads.

Amongst the spots that witnessed traffic jams were Delhi Cantonment, and the areas around it, including Dhaula Kuan, between Pankha Road and Uttam Nagar in west Delhi, and also Pusa Road and Shadipur in central Delhi, Khichdipur, Preet Vihar and Vikas Marg in east Delhi, Burari bypass in outer Delhi, and Shahdara in northeast Delhi, besides Rajouri Garden and Patel Nagar.

During the Odd-Even trial period, private vehicles only with odd registration numbers were allowed to play on odd numbered dates while on even dates only vehicles with even numbers were allowed.

Many people in different categories, like ambulances and single women, were exempted. Those who violated the rule were fined Rs 2,000 and were supposed to take vehicles off the road within two hours.

On Friday, Kejriwal looked and sounded happy at the “success” of the formula, devised to reduce ever increasing pollution in the city, and thanked Delhi’ites, including the Delhi Police, civil defence volunteers, and even the judiciary, for complying with the “tough rule”.

Kejriwal and transport minister Gopal Rai said that pollution was considerably reduced during the trial period.

Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party launched the scheme on 1 January, requested the residents of Delhi to follow the scheme on their own accord from Saturday. But it seems his appeal made little impact on people, as was evident from the traffic jams on Saturday.

The chief minister invited residents of Delhi to celebrate the success of the scheme at the Chhatrasal Stadium at 3 pm on Sunday. His government followed it up with full page advertisements in Delhi newspapers, announcing the “success” of the scheme and inviting the residents of Delhi for celebration.