NEW DELHI: The second edition of odd-even car rationing scheme in the national capital witnessed tough crackdown for flouting of norms. The Delhi transport department issued 427 challans while the Delhi police issued a total of 884 challans on the first day.
Although the air quality remained poor on the first day in Delhi, all the seven air quality monitoring system of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed poor to very poor particulate matter(pm) levels. The top three among them were Anand Vihar -351, Shadipur-284 and Punjabi Bagh -277 pm levels .
The Indian Metrological Department said air quality has been moderate over the last twenty days although it dipped today owing to pollutants-laden wind blowing from the North West direction.
The real-time readings of SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) indicated that at R K Puram and Punjabi Bagh, Ozone (O3) was recorded at 200.3 and 174.5 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) respectively around 4 PM. One hour notified average safe limit is 180 micrograms per cubic metre.
"Gaseous pollutants may be on the higher side when seen in real-time basis but on the average they stay well within the prescribed limits except carbon dioxide which goes up at times," said an IMD official.
Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said "I have reports from all over Delhi that people are following the scheme. The final picture will emerge after we receive reports from different departments," who took a bus ride to assess implementation of the scheme.
Further Rai said that "The number of vehicles on Delhi roads will reduce by half during odd even. If 10 lakh vehicles are off road on any given day congestion will also be reduced. Consequently, pollution will go down since vehicles will consume less fuel due to congestion free movement," he said.
"Odd even starts today. Let's all join hands and resolve to make it a success," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
The Delhi government also announced that it is going to the monitor ambient air quality at 74 locations across Delhi and its bordering areas.
Ajay Maken Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president “AAP Government was putting pressure on the people with the introduction of second phase of odd-even scheme in Delhi without improving the public transport system, despite the AAP being in power for nearly one-and-a-half years”.
The government has prepared a plan to implement Odd-even scheme with deployment of 5,000 civil defence volunteers, 400 ex-servicemen and 2,000 traffic police personnel.
The traffic department has identified 200 intersections in the city where their personnel will be deployed in teams, with their sizes depending upon the volume of traffic in those intersections.
Under the scheme, odd-numbered cars are allowed to run on odd dates while even-numbered cars are allowed on even dates.
Meanwhile, a section of auto and taxi unions have given a call for a one-day strike on Monday to protest against app-based cab services, a move which may cause hardship to commuters in the national capital.
Rajendra Soni, who is general secretary of both 'Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh' and 'Delhi Pradesh Taxi Unions,' said said the AAP government has so far not issued 10,000 new permits of auto rickshaws which it had cancelled after alleged irregularities in their distribution.
There are around 13,000 black-yellow taxis and around 81,000 auto rickshaws plying on the streets of the capital. Following the extended weekend, traffic will increase on Monday when offices and schools will open.