How the odd-even formula fared on day one

Barring a few hiccups, Delhiites followed the new regulation for a cleaner environment

GN Bureau | January 2, 2016


#odd even day one   #odd even delhi  


The year 2016 began with an odd. But this odd is in favour of the environment as Delhi government’s odd-even formula to check pollution levels in the capital and the NCR started on January 1. Car with only odd-numbered plates were allowed on the roads from 8 am to 8 pm. There were visibly fewer cars on the road. 

“Delhi has done it! Reports so far v encouraging. Delhiites! U give me hope that U are capable of achieving big challenges,” tweeted chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

READ: Sailing through the odds
 
The Delhi government has said that the scheme could be introduced on a more permanent basis if it is a success. To send a strong message to people, Kejriwal and his cabinet ministers are carpooling to work.
 
Kejriwal shared his car with transport minister Gopal Rai and PWD minister Satyendra Jain. 
 
Thousands of civil defence volunteers, enforcement team from Delhi’s transport department and sub-divisional magistrates were deployed for smoother implementation of the scheme. The violators were fined Rs 2,000. Some 203 people were fined on day one of the trial scheme.

READ: An odd logic, even by AAP standards
 
Delhi government also hired 3,000 private buses and arranged additional metro rides to manage the extra pressure on public transport.
 
There wasn’t any adverse public reaction on day one. One of the reasons for this might be the fact that most of the offices were closed on January 1. The second day being Saturday looked similar. The real test of the scheme will be seen on Monday.
 
Meanwhile, the Delhi government claimed that pollution levels reduced across monitoring stations but a scientific justification is awaited on this. According to the data collected at several stations, a dip in particulate matter (one of the ingredients of vehicular exhaust) -- PM 10 (particle below 10 micron in diameter) and PM 2.5 (below 2.5 micron and more dangerous given the smaller size) — was seen in the first half of the day. 
 
Delhi police commissioner BS Bassi, in an interaction with the Indian Express said, “I appeal to the people to cooperate with traffic police for 15 days as we are doing something for our environment. I spoke with my officers and they told me that people are appreciating the scheme and cooperating with them.”

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