Shimla may adopt Delhi’s odd-even vehicle scheme

Shimla, Dec 30 (IANS) Taking a cue from Delhi, the Shimla authorities are contemplating implementing odd-even vehicle number scheme to regulate traffic and check pollution, an official said on Wednesday.

“If the plan is successful in Delhi, we are planning to introduce odd-even scheme to regulate traffic in Shimla too,” Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar told IANS about the ‘Queen of Hills’, as this town was fondly called by the British rulers.

Studies conducted by the Shimla Municipal Corporation say 45 percent people prefer walking in Shimla, while 48 percent opt public mode of transport for commuting and the remaining seven percent people use private vehicles.

“If we manage to regulate the private and government vehicles, we could reduce the traffic congestion problem in the town,” he added.

Officials said there are over 80,000 vehicles registered in Shimla. The number of vehicles in the capital increases to double during the peak tourist season (from May to June and December to January).

It means that the town sees over 150,000 vehicles, of both residents and tourists, on a single day during the tourist season.

From time to time, the state high court has passed directives and sought list of permit holders, both government and private, who are authorised to drive vehicles on roads sealed to traffic.

Getting tough, last month a division bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan clarified that the governor, the chief minister, the chief justice of the high court and the public utility vehicles only were entitled to use the sealed roads.

Shimla has several auto-free zones to facilitate unrestricted movement of pedestrians.

The strolling culture of Shimla, which served as the summer capital of the British India between 1864 and 1939, was developed by the colonial rulers.

The Mall and the historic Ridge, an open space just above the Mall and now a hub of commercial activity, were once ‘British only’ streets meant for strolling.

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