With just two days left for the completion of the Odd-Even trial in Delhi, Transport Minister Gopal Rai confirmed on Wednesday that the scheme is not going anywhere and will be back. Rai said though the scheme will end on January 15 for now, it will be back for a second phase. The dates for that haven't been fixed as yet.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will hold a review meeting on January 18 with top officials and experts to work out the details of the second phase of the scheme in which odd-numbered cars are allowed on roads on odd dates and even-numbered cars on even dates. The pilot scheme was announced in December last year and launched on January 1 to see if cutting down number of cars on roads brings down pollution in Delhi, described as one of the worst-polluted cities in the world.
“We will take stock of these 15 days and based on our findings, we will decide what shape it will take in the future. We will also discuss what other measures for pollution control can be taken in the future,” Rai was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
“We will work in phases… in the first phase, we will encourage local connectivity. When people step out to go to the market, to the barber or to visit a friend, they should not take their motorcycle or car. They should take a cycle instead. The money earned through challans will be given as subsidy to help people buy cycles. In the second phase, we will create cycle lanes so that people are able to cycle on main roads as well,” he said.
“In the third phase, we will create cycle stands at Metro and bus stations so that people don't have to worry about parking their cycles. The committee will explore these possibilities,” added Rai.
He informed that the government will hold a 'thank you' event on January 17 to 'congratulate' the people of Delhi for making the Odd-Even scheme a success. The 'badhai' programme will be held at the Chhatrasal Stadium, he said. Everyone's invited to join in the celebrations.