Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that women will be exempted from the odd-even road rationing scheme, PTI reported. The rationing system helps reduce traffic on the roads by prohibiting vehicles from plying based on the last digit of their registration numbers – vehicles with odd digits are not allowed on even dates and vice versa. It will be reintroduced from November 4 to November 15.

“Women driving alone, cars having all women as occupants and women accompanied by children aged less than 12 years will be exempted,” Kejriwal said. However, unlike in the past, privately-owned CNG vehicles will not be exempted.

The decision to exempt women from the scheme was taken with a view to ensuring their safety, Kejriwal said. However, the government is yet to decide whether to exempt two-wheelers from the scheme, he added.

The scheme, a part of the Graded Response Action Plan to combat pollution, was first implemented in 2016 in an effort to reduce dense smog in the city during winter. November to January are the most polluted months in the National Capital Region.

However, the experiment made little or no difference to the air quality in the city. Reports had claimed that peak pollution levels were either comparable or just slightly lower than the high levels earlier.

On Saturday, the Air Quality Index in Delhi stood at 209 at 3 am, in the “poor” category, the Central Pollution Control Board said. The air quality had slipped into the “poor” category on Thursday evening, after days of “moderate” or “satisfactory” readings.

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