Senior BJP leader Vijay Goel violated the Delhi government’s odd-even road rationing scheme on Monday by driving an odd-numbered SUV. Goel, driving the SUV painted in orange with messages written all over it, claimed the odd-even scheme was a “gimmick”.
Goel was driving towards ITO from his residence on Ashoka Road and was accompanied by BJP vice president Shyam Jaju and other party leaders. His car was stopped by traffic policemen near Janpath and fined Rs 4,000.
The penalty on violation of odd-even rule is Rs 4,000. The fine was Rs 2,000 in earlier two editions of the road rationing scheme in 2016. Goel also violated the second edition of odd-even rule in April 2016.
Watch: Vijay Goel violates odd-even, Sisodia says pollution not BJP’S priority
Goel, a former chief of Delhi BJP, said the odd-even scheme is a drama by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government. “Vehicles contribute to 28% of pollution levels in Delhi, in which cars contribute only 3%. This comes to cars contributing 0.84% to total Delhi pollution which means this #OddEven is leaving 99.58% causative agents of Delhi pollution untouched,” Goel tweeted.
Stubble burning is contributing to pollution levels then what is the use of #OddEvenNatak in Delhi?
Why should Delhiites suffer because of your failures, Kejriwal Ji? https://t.co/1cdKeRSWGC
— Vijay Goel (@VijayGoelBJP) November 4, 2019
Soon after Goel violated the odd-even rule, Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot landed up at his doorstep with a bouquet of roses. “Offered him a bouquet of roses while requesting him to comply with odd-even rules,” Gahlot said.
Goel told Gahlot that the government responded too late. “You took so long to come and convince us. It is the first time in 5 years you have come,” he said.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia criticised Goel for breaking the odd-even rule when Delhi was battling pollution.
“Now when there are clouds of pollution over Delhi, he (Goel) says he will break the odd-even rule. People of Delhi have stopped construction of their houses, let him start construction, they (people) have stopped using generators, let him do that. It is his wish. If he wants to spread pollution, let him do that,” news agency PTI quoted Sisodia as saying.
Congress leader Ajay Maken also took to Twitter to condemn Goel’s move. “As a lawmaker, how can he deliberately break the law? I’ve been most vocal critic of Kejriwal. But, I will never ‘contribute to air pollution’ as a way of protest! Grow up Vijay Goel!” he tweeted.
The third edition of the odd-even scheme kicked in on Monday and it will continue till November 15 barring Sunday.
Under the scheme, Private vehicles with even-numbered plates would ply on even dates and those with odd-numbered plates on odd dates. The initiative, which was first started in 2016, seeks to reduce vehicular pollution in the national capital.
Though the vehicles of President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Justice of India, Speaker, Union ministers are exempt from the road rationing drive, ministers and officers of the Delhi government are required to follow the odd-even rules.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal carpooled with cabinet ministers Gopal Rai and Satyendar Jain to the Delhi Secretariat on Monday.
While deputy CM Manish Sisodia cycled to work, social welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam took the Delhi Metro to work and Kailash Gahlot too carpooled with his Officer on Special Duty (OSD).