AAP government plans aggressive publicity campaigns to make odd-even formula a success

Delhi: In an effort to generate awareness and gain maximum citizen support for its ambitious odd even car formula –to be implemented between January 1 and 15 next year – the Arvind Kejriwal government has planned an aggressive multimedia publicity campaign spanning over the next fortnight. The Aam Aadmi Party government had planned massive newspaper, radio and television advertisements as well as outdoor ad campaigns to publicise the odd even car scheme that would be applicable to private cars running on Delhi’s roads for 13 days, during its implementation in the first two weeks of January 2016. The publicity budget for this heavy campaign is likely to touch Rs5 crore.

Arvind Kejriwal

While newspaper advertisements detailing the scheme have already started appearing, sources say radio advertisements on the formula across all radio channels will start playing from Monday. Outdoor hoardings on the scheme have already been displayed across several locations across Delhi. “The idea is to dismiss all misconceptions regarding the scheme among people, so that there is more public participation. Through the advertisements and other programmes, we will encourage people to voluntarily participate in the experiment and make the initiative successful,” a government official told dna, adding that they will also touch upon the other pollution control initiatives taken by the Delhi government.
Another official said the massive publicity campaigns will also negate the false information being spread by other political parties on the odd even scheme in an attempt to sabotage it. Aside the regular radio advertisements on the scheme, the Delhi government has also written to the All India Radio (AIR) authorities asking them to reserve four hours every day during this period –the peak traffic hours of 8am to 10am and 5pm to 7pm –for a special radio programme on the scheme. Sources informed the four-hour radio programmes on AIR, to be intertwined with song sequences, will call for more voluntary public participation in the scheme.
“For instance, it will ask for citizens to stop fellow citizens from using odd-numbered vehicles on even-numbered days and vice versa. The programme will hit on the point that putting a fine of Rs2,000 on violators is just one way of making them follow the rule, but the better and the more effective way would be to make citizens voluntarily follow the rule, who in turn, would also encourage fellow citizens to follow suit, and publicly object those who are not abiding by it,” an official said.
Prasar Bharati sources confirmed receiving the Delhi government’s request and said they are in the process of taking a decision on it. The odd/even car rule was declared by the Delhi government as an emergency action to reduce air pollution levels in Delhi. The government has exempted women drivers, CNG vehicles, two-wheelers, emergency vehicles and a long list of VIPs from the scheme.