New Delhi: With the air quality in Delhi and NCR increasingly getting worse ahead of winter, the city government has said it may bring back the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme to limit the number of cars on the roads.
In a letter written on Wednesday, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to gear up for implementation of the odd-even scheme -- under which private vehicles with odd registration numbers will be allowed to run on odd dates and those with even numbers will run on even dates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Weekends and public holidays were exempted from the first two rounds of the vehicle rationing scheme. Others exempted included CNG and electric cars, two-wheelers, cars driven by women and vehicles with a woman driver with a male companion below 12. Vehicles for medical emergencies, occupied or driven by people with disabilities, VVIPs and enforcement cars were also allowed to run on all days.
The Minister also directed DTC to "chalk out an action plan for procurement of buses/conductors and submit the same within seven days".
"With the increase in pollution level in Delhi the government may have to resort to emergency measures, including implementation of odd-even scheme," the letter read.
"It is, therefore, essential that the Transport Department/DTC/DIMTS are fully geared up for implementation of the scheme as and when the same is announced."
The scheme to curb Delhi's toxic air was introduced first on January 1, 2016. The second phase was rolled out on April 15 that year. Violators were fined Rs 2,000 on the spot.
The air quality has been worsening in the capital. On Thursday, the average air quality index was "poor" even as most areas in the capital reeled under "very poor" and some suffered "severe" air pollution levels.