Officials from the Delhi government on Wednesday said that two-wheelers in Delhi NCR will not be included in the restrictions of the odd-even formula, even as the Delhi High Court asked the Delhi government to take into consideration the concerns of physically-challenged commuters while formulating the odd-even formula for plying of vehicles in the capital. The High Court refused to grant a stay order on the odd-even plan and said that further hearing on the matter would be on 6 January 2016.
The court took note of the government’s submissions that the “scheme has not been finalised yet”. The odd-even plan, which is to be notified on or before 25 December this year, as per Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai, is a pilot plan that will run from 1-16 January 2016 on trial basis.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said: “The Delhi government shall take into consideration the concerns of various sections of society, including physically challenged people, while making the scheme on odd-even numbers issue.”
“What precautions you (Delhi government) have taken so that they don’t have to face any problems? You should take into consideration their concerns,” the court said.
The High Court was hearing public interest litigations challenging the Aam Aadmi Party government’s decision early this December allowing even and odd numbered vehicles to ply in Delhi on alternate dates from January 1 for 15 days.
The court noted that one of the petitioners was a physically-challenged person. The odd-even formula will not apply to auto-taxis, public transport and emergency vehicles like ambulances.
Nipun Malhotra, one of the petitioners, pleaded for allowing physically-challenged commuters to use their own vehicles since public transport was “not disabled friendly”.
The court refused to stay the AAP government’s decision to enforce odd-even formula, saying the decision is on a trial basis and can thus be allowed.
Also, the petitioners said the decision was taken without considering the disturbing effect it would have on the public at large. “Two-wheeler riders will be exempted from the scheme because their number is huge and the public transport is not that great,” an official of the Delhi government said on Wednesday.
The PILs filed earlier said the government announced its plan to restrict the number of cars on roads without first conducting a public debate and a study of the pros and cons of a system based on whether the registration number of a motor vehicle ends in an even or odd digit.