Mr Kejriwal, who has an odd-numbered car, carpooled with two ministers - Gopal Rai, the Transport Minister, and Health Minister Satyendar Jain. (AFP Photo)
New Delhi: Pollution levels showed a marginal dip for a while today as Delhi's new odd-even plan for cars took off in a drastic step to cut down smog in the world's most polluted city. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he is "overwhelmed by the response".
Only odd-numbered cars were allowed on the roads between 8 am and 8 pm today as part of a 15-day plan to allow private vehicles on alternate days.
Those with even-numbered cars were stopped and fined Rs 2,000. By evening, more than 200 people were fined for violations. Among the offenders was BJP parliamentarian Satyapal Singh, a former Mumbai police chief.
"I am truly overwhelmed by the response. People have achieved the impossible. I am sure Delhi will show the way," said Arvind Kejriwal. Later in the day, he referenced John Lennon's words in his tweet: "You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only 1 I hope some day you'll join us."
Mr Kejriwal, who has an odd-numbered car, carpooled with two ministers - Gopal Rai, the Transport Minister, and Health Minister Satyendar Jain. Tourism minister Kapil Mishra took a motorbike to work.
"The same Delhi, which was called selfish, has shown the way. We thank all people for choosing their children's health," said Gopal Rai.
To cope with the extra pressure on the public transport network, around 3,000 private buses have been hired. The metro will make 70 extra trips. Special buses are ferrying people between Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. A bike taxi service has been introduced.
Many offices and residents' associations arranged car-pools. The union home ministry also organised car-pooling for its officers.
Exceptions have been made for medical emergencies, women, VIPs, CNG cars and two-wheelers.