In less than 48 hours, Delhi will see a new radical experiment with what has come to be known as Odd Even formula for vehicles. The scheme is the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s brainchild and has been adopted to curb the rising air pollution in the capital.
On Wednesday, CM Kejriwal made a group of school children take pledge on making their parents and friends follow the Odd-Even rules. Under the rules, cars with odd registration numbers will only be allowed to run on odd dates (1,3,5…) of the week, while cars bearing even number plates will run on even dates (2,4,6).
A number of exemptions have been made and they include the members of the judiciary, council of ministers in central government and embassy cars though Kejriwal and his ministers will be excluded from the list of exemptions.
Kejriwal said that he will be sharing car with his Transport Minister, Gopal Rai to travel to secretariat, his office.
Although exempted, the Chief Justice of India, Justice TS Thakur too has said that he will not be availing the exemptions promising to abide by the restrictions.
Justice Thakur was mong the first few prominent voice, which had lent support to this move.
Another support that Kejriwal government has received is from the US Embassy, which said that it would comply with the restrictions despite the exemption.
The chief minister, while interacting with school children on Wednesday, also said that a large group of trained civil defence volunteers (in thousands) will be on the streets displaying ‘Gandhigiri’ to the offenders.
Kejriwal siad, “The volunteers’ role during car free days was pivotal. During the car free days, the volunteers gifted rose to those who were seen taking their cars out on the road. It clearly shows Gandhigiri has plenty of strength. I urge you all to come on the street and display your Gandhigiri.”
The good news for Kejriwal is that even his detractors have promised to abide by the rules. Prakash Javdekar, who is the union environment minister in Narendra Modi’s cabinet, though called his idea crazy, he promised to take his personal car lout during the trial period.
Delhi Police commissioner, BS Bassi, who met Rai on Tuesday, too now has promised to extend the required support to make it a success.
The Odd Even formula is an experiment undertaken for 15 days starting 1 January. What effect does it have on curbing the rising air pollution in the capital will be seen in few days time, but there’s little denying the truth that the Delhi CM has indeed turned the fight against pollution into a high profile movement.