Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi legislators won’t be exempted from the odd-even car rationing rule, which will set in from January 1 to reduce air pollution in the city.
Kejriwal told reporters on Thursday that his government will issue a final notification on Monday for the 15-day trial run of the new road rule that allows cars having licence plates ending with an odd number to ply on the city’s streets on odd dates such as 1, 3, 11 and 23. Likewise, even-numbered vehicles will be allowed on even dates.
“Mera kuch nai exempt hoga, na meray parivaar vaalong ka (I won’t be exempted, neither my family members) … This scheme is for you, for your kids. We are all coughing. It is for the environment,” Kejriwal said, his media interaction interrupted by occasional bouts of his famous cough.
He announced a fine of Rs 2,000 for not following the restrictions that will be enforced from 8am to 8pm six days a week, barring Sundays.
“It’s for 15 days, not a continuous programme. Maybe after a few months, we will try it again to bring down pollution levels,” he said.
“If the public transport is able to bear the pressure and if the formula works, then we will see if we want to continue it … but if all of Delhi violates the rule, we will be left with little option but to scrap the formula.”
The chief minister suggested car pooling to ease the pressure on public transport when the formula is in force but cautioned against sharing rides with strangers. “I myself will pool cars,” he said.
Two-wheelers, cars driven by women and those running on cleaner fuel such as CNG as well as on-duty government vehicles are exempted from the ban based on the odd-even system.
“Only women (drivers) or women with kids below 12 years will be exempted from the odd-even formula,” Kejriwal said. “CNG cars will have to get a hologram sticker from IGL refill stations. Diesel and petrol taxis will have to follow rules.”
Also, the restrictions doesn’t apply to vehicles and convoy accompanying the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister’s as well as cars carrying speaker of Lok Sabha, deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha, deputy speaker of Lok Sabha, governors and Lt-governors of states, Chief Justice of India, Union ministers, leaders of the Opposition in both Houses of Parliament, chief ministers — except Delhi — Supreme Court and high court judges and the Lokayukta.
Those on the way to hospital for any medical emergency will be allowed based on their word.
Kejriwal asked the people as well as traffic police to cooperate. “Around 10,000 volunteers pooled from the NCC, NSS and others will help us implement the new traffic management system.”
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia requested even those exempted from restrictions to follow the rule and fight the pollution menace in Delhi, which tops a WHO global list of cities with the foulest air.