The Delhi government is reportedly considering to launch the second phase of the odd-even scheme during school summer vacations between May and June this year. And, women drivers who were exempted from the car-rationing rule during the trial period may have to abide by it the next time.
On a pilot basis, private cars with odd-numbered plates were allowed to ply only on odd dates and even plates on even dates for 15 days in January. The aim of the scheme was to curb pollution and it had a positive impact not only on the environment in Delhi but also on traffic, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party claimed.
"An assessment of 15 days was done by experts and officials of the departments concerned. Everyone agreed that the scheme helped in reducing congestion. Due to this, the capacity of public transport increased by 1.5 times as buses were able to make more trips. The pollution level has also come down," Hindustan Times quoted Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai as saying.
Although the government may decide to impose the rule on women drivers as well, bike riders will remain exempted from the scheme due lack of public transportation at the time, Rai said. He added that the exemption could be lifted after introduction of at least 1,000 more buses. The Delhi government hopes to induct 2,000 buses in Delhi's public transportation system before launching the third phase.
"We have enough resources to tackle the rush that comes from cars but we need at least 1,000 more buses before we can include bikes," HT quoted Rai as saying.
"Bikers may be included in the third phase but in the second phase bikers will continue to get the exemption. People argue that number of bikes is more than the number of cars but cars cause congestion," he added.
Two major concerns still remain a hurdle
The Delhi government is yet to analyse how parents who drop and pick up their children from schools can be kept included in the scheme. The concern remains as one of the two major hurdles in the implementation of the second phase.
"The first problem, which we need to address before implementing the second phase, is of parents who go to pick and drop their children from schools. They can still go to drop as the rule starts from 8 am but how will they pick up them is still a matter of concern. The committee has been asked to submit a report on this," Rai said.
Second, the government is worried that people may buy second-hand cars to compensate for the alternate days when they cannot take their vehicles on road.
"It happened in Mexico and other countries, where people started buying second-hand cars. We don't want this to be repeated in Delhi. The committee has been asked to prepare a report on this," Rai said.