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Reports of extension of odd-even scheme beyond Jan 15 are false: Gopal Rai

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Amid reports that the odd-even scheme may be extended, Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai on Saturday asserted that the government has no intention to take the road-rationing experiment beyond January 15.

The pilot plan for cutting vehicular emission was launched on January 1. Rai said that some confusion is also being spread that the plan was illegally imposed by the government, and claimed that under Section 115 of the Motor Vehicle Act, they have power to implement this scheme as such provisions were also made during the Commonwealth Games as per this law. “Government is neither going to extend odd-even scheme beyond January 15 nor finish it before the 15-day trial period,” Rai said here, terming some of media reports of extending the car-rationing scheme as “false”.

He further said the traffic-restriction is just only for 15 days and after the trial period, government will study the data collected through it and will do a proper analysis, adding, it will then be able to take a final decision. Rai, who today at his residence held a meeting of Coordination Committee with officials concerned on the scheme, said from January 1-8, traffic police, transport and revenue departments have issued 5,893 challans for the violation of odd-even rules so far. “Out of these numbers, 2,912 challans were issued by SDMs and 2,260 by traffic police. Besides, enforcement wing of the transport department has issued 721 challans for violating odd-even rules so far,” he said.

Apart from this, 1,943 challans were issued by the transport department to auto drivers for different violations including refusal to drive. The government has also received 13,528 calls on its two helplines in the last one week and most of them were related to queries about the scheme. Out of these calls, 395 were related to complaints against bus, auto drivers, and other issues. According to the minister, in view of traffic rush on some road stretches during peak hours, government has decided to deploy additional teams of transport department and traffic police to manage traffic there from Monday. The areas include, ITO, Ring Road, Outer Ring Road, Connaught Place, Mathura Road, Ashram, New Friends Colony, Nehru Place, Sarai Kale Khan, Hanuman Mandir Marg and Dhaula Kuan.

“Government has also decided to do a close monitoring on the assigned works of civil defence volunteers. Teams of SDM have also formed in this regard,” he said.

The fate of the odd-even vehicle scheme will be decided on January 11 by the Delhi High Court which had yesterday reserved its order on various pleas challenging the AAP government’s ambitious pilot project which will continue till then. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath reserved the order after the Delhi government informed it that the pollution level of particulate matter across the national capital showed a declining trend due to implementation of the scheme.

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