Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed the Transport Department to share its views on the issue of exemption to be granted to women, 2-wheelers and CNG vehicles during the odd-even period between November 4 and 15.
"In light of the varied views on this matter among the public as well as the departments concerned, the chief minister has sought clarity from the Transport department well in advance. Kejriwal has asked the department to submit its views to him within the next three days," said an official statement on Monday.
The most critical segment being discussed is that of women. From the point of view of women's safety, when the government had implemented the scheme in 2016, all vehicles that had only women passengers were exempt from the rule.
"The Chief Minister has directed the Transport Department to consider the implementation of this exemption and share its views on repeating the same for this year's odd-even scheme," added the statement.
In the previous edition of the scheme, all two-wheelers had been exempt from the alternate day bar on plying on the roads. While this significantly helped manage traffic on the city's public transportation system, some experts had expressed reservations against the exemption.
The latest estimate for the number of two-wheelers that ply in Delhi is over 70 lakh. If two-wheelers are not exempted, it will lead to over 35 lakh persons, other than lakhs of pillion riders, to switch to public transport every day.
The Chief Minister has asked the department to review the current capacity of the public transport network and state its views on whether or not two-wheelers should be exempt this year.
In the past, all CNG vehicles have also been permitted to play on roads on all days during the Odd-Even scheme based on the fact that CNG vehicle emissions are substantially less polluting than diesel or petrol vehicles.
However, there were reports of large-scale misuse of this exemption in the previous editions of odd-even. Kejriwal has asked the Transport Department to formulate a position on this matter after duly considering the views of Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL).
In September, Chief Minister Kejriwal had announced the implementation of the odd-even scheme in November in anticipation of the smog Delhi faces each winter due to stubble burning in neighbouring states.
Under the odd-even scheme, the government mandates road rationing to permit the use of vehicles with odd and even-numbered registration plates on odd and even days of the week.
The move is aimed at limiting vehicular emissions into the air during a period when Delhi is already facing incoming smoke due to crop stubble burning.
As the Delhi government gears up to implement the Action Plan, the question of which segments of vehicle drivers should be exempt from the alternate day bar on odd and even number plate registered vehicles is being discussed at length.
( With inputs from ANI )