'The perils of phase two': Bike rush crushes odd-even gain 

The question of exempting two-wheelers from the odd-even scheme may be back to haunt Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

A report by the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) says that the number of scooters and motorbikes during odd-even phase 2 has actually gone up vis-avis ‘non-odd-even’ days.

The rise is most pronounced on the Ring Road, where the number of two-wheelers has almost doubled, from 25 to 46 per cent.

An SPA team first checked on Monday, April 11, before odd-even phase 2 came into effect.

To their surprise, when the team rechecked on April 18, the first working Monday after odd-even was enforced, the number had gone up.

Similar trends were noted in Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, Indraprastha, Maharani Bagh, Mandir Marg, Gurgaon Expressway and Lodhi Road: a total eight locations where SPA conducted their study.

Dr Sewa Ram, Associate Professor at SPA and leader of the research team said, “The whole traffic flow data was collected through videographic technique for peak hour.”

An estimated 55 lakh scooters and motorbikes run on Delhi roads as against the 27 lakh private cars.

Think tanks like the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) have repeatedly stressed that two-wheelers contribute 31 per cent of the particulate load from vehicles and must be brought under the ambit of the odd-even scheme.

Dr PK Sarkar, head of department (Transport Planning), told Mail Today, “More homework is required on the odd-even scheme.

Before we go in for the third phase of the traffic-rationing scheme, which I must add is an emergency pollution measure only.

We must conduct further scientific studies and weigh in the benefits better.”

  Odd-even ‘ruckus’ in both houses

The odd-even scheme, aimed to curb pollution, was in Parliament with Lok Sabha members attacking the plan

Lawmakers violated the odd-even scheme as Parliament reconvened for second half of the Budget session. 

Monday being an odd number day, vehicles with only odd number plates were allowed to ply on the roads in the Capital.

The odd-even scheme, aimed to curb pollution, was also raised in Parliament with Lok Sabha members attacking the plan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for reintroducing it.

The first phase of the scheme was started in January this year.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan was forced to adjourn the House till lunch as a ruckus prevailed over the issue.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad suggested lawmakers be exempt from the scheme till Parliament is functioning.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Pappu Yadav, who has been critical of the scheme, raised the issue during Zero Hour in the Lower House.

He accused Kejriwal of benefitting car and CNG companies.

Among the violators of the scheme were actor-turned-politician Paresh Rawal, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, BJP MPs Chaudhry Babulal, Udit Raj, BC Khanduri and Prahlad Patel.

Rawal realised his mistake when he reached Parliament travelling in his car with an even number plate.

“Yaar, galati ho gayi,” he said.

He tweeted, “Made a serious blunder… Sorry to Arvind ji and Delhiites.” Maurya said: “I have one car. Will take care (tomorrow) Tuesday.”

RELATED ARTICLES Share this article Share However, some MPs with even number car plates travelled to Parliament either by car-pooling or used some other modes of transport.

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi walked to Parliament House and later raised questions about the scheme.

“We are not from Delhi and come here only when Parliament is in session. So, they should think over it. However, they have claims of making some arrangements like bus but I didn’t find one,” he said.