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Odd-even policy worked well but don't extend it: Survey

PTI1_2_2016_000041A (File) Civil defence members in Delhi overseeing implementation of odd-even rule

A majority of the capital's residents have told a survey that the odd-even policy for private cars has been implemented well, a sizeable number felt autos and taxis were fleecing them, even as those who do not want the practice to continue outnumbered others.

Conducted by LocalCircles, a citizen engagement platform, the survey found that during the first 10 days, a vast majority of people said either they used public transportation, including autos and taxis, or their second car. Only 8 percent opted for car-pooling and 9 percent used a bike.

The platform claims it is connected with more than one million citizens across India, and to the five questions that formed a part of the survey on the first 10 days of the odd-even policy, the respondents ranged between 11,785 and 13,971.

"Based on the poll results, it can be interpreted that while citizens believe that the government surpassed their expectations on the implementation front, clear impact on reduction in pollution is yet to be determined," said K. Yatish Rajawat, chief strategy officer.

"The Government of Delhi must look at how to place safeguards and controls so that autos and taxi services don't overcharge citizens in case the rule was to be implemented again or regularized," Rajawat added.

To a question "Should the odd-even policy be extended beyond January 15", over half the 12,918 respondents said no, while the rest seemed okay for its extension. Those who wanted to or not to buy another car were evenly matched, and 15 percent had vehicles with both registrations.

To another question on how people managed to commute during the first 10 days of the policy, only 8 percent of the 11,831 respondents said they pooled their cars. The largest share of the people, 44 percent, used public transport, 9 percent used a bike and 39 percent had cars for both days.

Evidently, people were surprised at the way the government managed to implement the scheme. Prior to the start of the policy on January 1, another survey found only 31 percent of the respondents being positive about it, while it rose to 58 percent after the conclusion of 10 days.

The odd-even policy, under which private cars with registrations ending in even numbers could ply only on even dates, and vice versa for those with odd-numbered plates, was announced by the state government from January 1-15 after the Delhi High Court said Delhi had turned into a gas chamber.

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