Delhi BJP opposes reintroduction of odd-even scheme
New Delhi, Sep 14: Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari on Saturday wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urging him to reconsider the move to implement the odd-even scheme again as it would cause problems to the people. This is merely a "gimmick to divert the attention" of Delhiites from core issues as the AAP government has "substantially failed" to deliver and wants to use taxpayers' money on advertisements for its own publicity, Tiwari alleged in the letter to the Delhi Chief Minister.
"I am writing to you, with great anguish over your government's decision to introduce odd-even policy in Delhi once again in the month of November. The decision has been taken without a proper thought. This had created so many problems for Delhiites the last time it was done," he said.
Kejriwal on Friday announced implementation of the odd-even scheme in Delhi from November 4 to 15, saying it will be one of the seven measures against high level of pollution in the city due to crop stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab during the period. Tiwari said the AAP government's decision to stick to the odd-even scheme speaks volumes of its "inability" to come up with any scientific and reasonable measure to fight air pollution.
"In the interest of the people of Delhi, I urge you to rethink over this decision of implementing odd-even scheme and kindly spare Delhiites unnecessary hassles they would be subjected to with this move," Tiwari said in his letter.
Tiwari alleged the move was an "insult" to the law abiding citizens who get their vehicles regularly checked for pollution as they will face problems in commuting and dropping their children to schools. The AAP government has targeted private vehicles although there is no scientific study to support that they are the biggest source of air pollution in Delhi, he said. As a matter of fact, the air pollution in Delhi has reduced by 25 per cent with the opening of the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways in Delhi, thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Tiwari said "The two expressways keep out nearly 60,000 heavy commercial vehicles from Delhi roads, considerably reducing traffic congestion as well as pollution level," he said. Under the scheme vehicles ply on odd and even dates as per their registration numbers. The scheme was previously introduced in Delhi by the AAP government in January and April 2016. The opinion of experts as well as the people is divided over the efficacy of odd-even formula in combating air pollution. Announcing its implementation, Kejriwal had said studies showed odd-even scheme reduced air pollution level by 10-13 per cent. Critics of the move point to lack of adequate number of public transport buses in the city, and role of dust in bringing down air quality.
Tiwari, in his letter, said that instead of bringing new buses to boost public transport, the government was targeting massive publicity campaign in the name of the odd-even scheme.
"While its efficacy has always remained doubtful, it gives you another avenue to get publicity and use the taxpayers money towards a torrent of advertisements," he blamed.
He claimed that a robust public transport system in the city needed 20,000 buses, but the AAP government has been able to procure just 25 buses so far despite being in power for over four years. Tiwari demanded that the chief minister declare the amount to be spent on advertisements of odd-even scheme.