The ambitious odd-even car rationing scheme of Delhi government has resulted in the national capital witnessing a dip of 30 per cent in peak-hour traffic volume.
In addition, a hefty Rs 2000 challan for breaking the odd-even rule has filled the coffers of Delhi government by Rs 40 lakh in just one day.
Though a total of 639 challans were issued by SDMs this Tuesday, it was much less than the average as majority of people on road followed traffic rules fearing hefty fines.
The scheme aimed at curbing pollution came into force on January 1. For 15 days, private cars with odd-numbered licence plates have been directed to ply on odd-numbered dates, and those with even-numbered plates on the other days.
Talking about the drive Muktesh Chander, special commissioner, traffic said:
“Panic seemed to have gripped road-users after Monday’s drive. At some points, not a single challan was issued.”
The number of violations for breaking other traffic rules also went down according to police, as nearly 40 per cent lesser challans were issued on Tuesday as compared to Monday.
The cops said that on an average 1,000 challans are issued in a day; this includes regular challans, but on Tuesday the number had dropped drasticly by about 40 per cent with just 639.
With large number of traffic personnel on road, majority of drivers complied with traffic norms and no traffic snarls were reported during peak hours.
However, in few parts of central and east Delhi, the traffic movement was reported to be slow, which police blamed on unruly buses, as they flouted lane discipline to woo more passengers on board.
A traffic officer in Central Delhi said:
“Most buses stopped for longer duration to woo passengers as they ran empty even during peak hours.”
Observing traffic for the last few days, cops now plan to hold a meeting with other agencies, so as to discuss new ways of challaning vehicles, that would not create traffic snarls during peak hours.
At present the authorities involved have been asked to avoid stopping vehicles on the busy intersections during peak hours, as they can lead to huge snarls. The have also been advised follow proper protocol while fining vehicles.
In another major development, the Delhi high court asked the Aam Aadmi Party government on January 6 why it can’t restrict its traffic rationing scheme to this week, saying inconvenience was being caused to commuters.
A division bench of Chief Justice of the Delhi HC G Rohini and justice Jayant Nath asked the government to submit empirical data collected on level of air pollution during the first half of the 15-day trial period of the even-odd scheme.
The Delhi government’s standing counsel Rahul Mehra said the decision aims at reducing the air pollution level in the capital. He said that one out of three children born here said respiratory problems, and initial data showed a drop in the air pollution level.
The vehicles exempted from odd-even scheme include those of the president, vice president, prime minister, Chief Justice of India, Union ministers, governors, chief ministers of states , women drivers, CNG-certified vehicles, VIPs, two -wheelers, ambulances, defence vehicles and embassy vehicles.
Delhi today has the world’s worst air, according to a 2014 World Health Organization study comparing 1,600 cities in 91 countries.