Odd-even a success, pity Goel violated it: Minister

New Delhi: The odd-even traffic scheme aimed at battling pollution has been a success so far on Monday, Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said. He also criticized BJP MP Vijay Goel for breaking the scheme under which private diesel and petrol vehicles with even registration numbers can ply only on even dates and those with odd registration numbers on odd dates. "Whatever reports we are getting shows that the people of Delhi have voluntarily accepted the (second phase of the) scheme too," Rai told the media after taking a bus ride in the heart of the city. "Some people had apprehensions about today since it was the first working day after the start of the second phase" on April 15, he said. "Fortunately, everything is satisfactory barring a handful of places," he said. Rai said Goel's deliberate violation of the odd-even traffic restrictions appeared to be a ploy by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to fail the scheme whose first phase ran from January 1 to 15. The minister said he went to Goel's house in the morning to persuade him not to violate the scheme as it sends a wrong message to the public. "I told him that since you are a BJP MP, this will not be a good thing to do. It will send a wrong message. I gave him a rose too. But he was adamant. "I wonder why the BJP wants to fail the odd-even scheme?" Rai asked. The minister added that the police fined Goel not only for violating the odd-even traffic restrictions but also for driving minus a licence and insurance papers. Rai rejected Goel's contention that the odd-even scheme was being used by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to promote himself. "This odd-even scheme is for the people, not for Kejriwal. Yes, we are spending on publicity. If need be, we will spend more," he said.