New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said his government respects the feelings of the Sikh community and that a decision on lifting the Odd-Even rule on 11 and 12 November to ensure a hassle-free commute on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev will be taken by Friday.
Various Sikh organizations have sought exemptions from the Odd-Even scheme on the dates, citing celebrations and religious functions in the city to mark the birth anniversary of the Sikhism founder.
A meeting will be held by the chief minister on Friday to take the decision on the exemption, an official said. The Odd-Even rule, which commenced in Delhi on 4 November, will continue till 15 November. The scheme is among many measures taken by the government to combat air pollution in the city.”We respect the feelings of the Sikh community. Many Sikh organizations have approached us. We are having a discussion and a decision on it will be taken by tomorrow (Friday),” Kejriwal told reporters at the flagging off ceremony of 100 new buses under a cluster scheme.
Under the scheme, non-transport vehicles having odd or even digits of registration number are allowed to ply on odd and even dates respectively, from 8 am to 8 pm. Transport minister Kailash Gahlot had on Wednesday told reporters that the proposal for overall exemption from the Odd-Even rule on 11 and 12 November was under active consideration of the government.
The fine for violation of the rule is Rs 4,000 under the amended Motor Vehicle Act. It was Rs 2,000 in the previous two editions of Odd-Even schemes in 2016. According to official data, a total of 694 violators of the Odd-Even rule were issued challans by teams of traffic police (454), transport (148) and revenue (92) departments on Thursday.
The AAP government has claimed that out of 30 lakh non-private vehicles, about 15 lakh have been taken off the roads due to the Odd-Even scheme, which has helped in improving the air quality in the city. Two-wheelers, women motorists, vehicles carrying patients and school children in uniform are exempted from the scheme.
There are 29 categories of exempted vehicles including those of the President, Prime Minister, enforcement and emergency services agencies and embassies.