NEW DELHI: This winter, the air quality in Delhi started to deteriorate before the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) could kick in, raising fear that the city might be staring at a pollution crisis. If Air Quality Index goes above 400 and remains in the “severe” category for over 48 hours, the capital may see the return of the odd-even road rationing scheme.
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A government official said though regular meetings were taking place on anti-pollution measures, there had been no specific discussion on the odd-even scheme as yet. “We have successfully implemented the road rationing scheme in the past, and with the standard operating procedures in place, it will take about two days to implement it,” the official added.
Apart from major public awareness campaigns, another important aspect of the scheme was enforcement of rules. While the mechanism for that was in place, the transport department was better “armed” this season.
In August, the transport department’s enforcement wing got 30 new vehicles. Sources said they had also got 120 state-of-the-art handheld e-challan devices, which were linked to the centralised Vahan 4 software. Over 60 such devices were already available with the department. Now, it would be possible for almost all the teams deployed on road to get a a device to check violations.
In all, 400 teams were deployed during the last odd-even scheme in two shifts. Of the 200 teams in each shift, 60 were transport department personnel and 140 belonged to Delhi Transport Corporation headed by traffic inspectors and assistant traffic inspectors.
The amended Motor Vehicles Act had hiked the fine for violating odd-even rules to Rs 20,000.

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