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No Surge Pricing in Cabs, Auto Rickshaws to Run by Meter During 'Odd-Even' from Nov 4: Delhi CM

Noting that the pollution situation has worsened in Delhi, Kejriwal said the Centre as well as the governments of Punjab and Haryana should give a timeline to stop stubble burning.

News18.com

Updated:November 1, 2019, 10:32 PM IST
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No Surge Pricing in Cabs, Auto Rickshaws to Run by Meter During 'Odd-Even' from Nov 4: Delhi CM
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot during a press conference, in New Delhi, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: There will be no surge in the pricing of taxis during ‘odd-even’ rule in Delhi and the auto rickshaws will go by the meter prices, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday as the government issued a notification to implement the odd-even road rationing scheme from November 4-15.

Noting that the pollution situation has worsened in Delhi, Kejriwal said the Centre as well as the governments of Punjab and Haryana should give a timeline to stop stubble burning.

"Notifications for odd-even have been sent and will be effective in Delhi from Monday. I have held review meetings with all departments to ensure readiness. All cab companies have been instructed not to levy surge pricing and they have promised cooperation in this regard," the Delhi chief minister said. Urging the auto rickshaw drivers to cooperate, he asked them to run only by meters.

"We have fulfilled all your requests and ask that you also cooperate with the public," he said.

He said the order for staggered office timings of the Delhi government has also been issued. The offices of various departments of the Delhi government will open at 9.30 am and 10.30 am, he said.

He said government will distribute 50 lakh anti-pollution masks in the city in the coming one week. Kejriwal said it is wrong on the part of opposition parties to blame and curse the people of Delhi for high level of air pollution.

The 12-day odd-even road rationing scheme from Monday, will see the deployment of 2,000 additional buses and 61 more trips by metro to cater to commuters in the national capital. Kejriwal, who held a review meeting with senior government officials, has asked them to ensure that no person faces inconvenience due to the odd-even scheme.

A person violating the odd-even rules will have to cough up Rs 4,000 against the earlier Rs 2,000 during the previous editions of the odd-even scheme. The violations will be booked under the Motor Vehicle Act.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will conduct 61 additional trips and a total of 5,100 trips through 294 trains, and will display electronic messages on the odd-even scheme at various metro stations.

"To ensure the smooth functioning of all the metro lines and trains, 35 teams will be deployed at all the major metro stations. Additional manpower will also be deployed to manage the ticketing system due to the increasing inflow of people during the odd-even implementation," the statement said.

Around 300 traffic inspectors and assistant traffic inspectors (ATI) will be deployed in two shifts during the odd-even drive.

The ATIs and revenue department officials will issue challans to the violators of the scheme as well as ensure proper enforcement of the schemes at the 200 locations identified by the Delhi Transport Department.

The government said that a special training programme was conducted for traffic inspectors, ATI and revenue department officials of the DTC from October 30 to 31 as directed by Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot.

The challan books, receipts books, and guidelines have been issued to the DTC officials during the training programme.

Meanwhile, the government also decided to stagger working hours of its offices during the odd-even scheme, a move aimed at reducing traffic congestion and pollution in the city.

However, private offices in the city will not come under the government order, with Kejriwal at a press conference saying this is the first experiment of staggered office timings, but next time the AAP dispensation will consider the same for them.

Earlier in the day, a Supreme Court-mandated panel declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region and banned construction activity till November 5 as the air quality dipped to “severe-plus” levels as the city remained engulfed in toxic smog. The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) also banned the bursting of crackers during the winter season.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered 'good', 51-100 'satisfactory', 101-200 'moderate', 201-300 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'. Above 500 falls in the 'severe-plus emergency' category. The schools have been shut till November 5.

Kejriwal said that Delhi has been transformed into a 'gas chamber' while pointing at the stubble burning in the adjoining states.

"Delhi has turned into a gas chamber due to smoke from crop burning in neighbouring states. It is very imp that we protect ourselves from this toxic air. Through pvt & govt schools, we have started distributing 50 lakh masks today. I urge all Delhiites to use them whenever needed," Kejriwal tweeted.

The blanket of haze over Delhi continued to thicken with the national capital's pollution levels increasing overnight by around 50 points, taking the overall air quality index to 459 on Friday morning.

(With PTI inputs)

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