Home minister Rajnath Singh will meet Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday to discuss modalities of the Delhi government's proposal to ration cars that should ply each day, based on the principle of odd/even registration numbers.
The Delhi CM had requested for such a meeting after announcement of the car scheme. According to a home ministry source, the decision to hold a meeting with Kejriwal was taken late on Tuesday night soon after the Delhi government announced that the odd/even scheme for private vehicles will be in force from 8 am to 8 pm for a trial of 15 days and there will be no restrictions on vehicular movement on Sundays. The home ministry is concerned as it has identified several measures that need to be taken before embarking on such a drastic measure.
It is reliably learnt that the Delhi Police has conveyed to North Block that it does not have the personnel or the resources to implement the odd/even scheme. The home ministry is believed to have done a round of informal consultations and data mining on the subject to ensure a "constructive discussion" with the Delhi chief minister.
On record, however, the Delhi Police was guarded: "We were invited (by the Delhi government) for the first time and communicated about its plan. We will now examine the issue and give our views," police commissioner BS Bassi told media.
Citing the example of Beijing, where pollution levels are equally high, officials at North Block said even in Beijing the restrictions of plying cars is limited to just one day a week. With the Delhi Police under the control of MHA, it is unlikely that the Delhi government will be able to enforce its plan unless the Centre is on board. And for the first time after the announcement, the Kejriwal government asked the Delhi traffic police to be part of the Tuesday meeting.