Delhi’s ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ initiative to battle air pollution returns

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Ahead of the onset of winter season when the national capital witnesses rising levels of air pollution, the Delhi government’s ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ initiative has returned. The state government has kicked off the campaign starting today (October 18) across 100 crossings in the city in order to reduce vehicular emissions.

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For the month-log initiative that will go on till November 18, the state has deployed as many as 2,500 civil defence volunteers who will work in two shifts from 8 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 8 pm across 100 traffic junctions in the city. The volunteers will raise awareness about pollution in the city and urge motorists to turn off engines voluntarily when the traffic light turns red.

(Also read | Did your vehicle fail pollution test? Here are five things to do next)

To kick start the campaign, the state’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai visited the ITO crossing today to appeal to the public to extend their support in the fight against pollution in order to achieve success. Vehicular emissions and dust are major contributors to the air pollution in the city.

Rai stated that data from the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) reveals that if people follow the exercise of switching off engines at traffic signals, pollution can be reduced by 13-20 per cent. “This is a public campaign. We all will have to fight together to beat pollution. I appeal to the public to follow the campaign,” he added.

(Also read | Is your diesel car in Delhi more than 10 years old? Rules you need to know)

Last week, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the public to actively participate in the campaign as well as avoid using their cars at least once a week. He also appealed motorists to make use of public transportation options such as metro and public buses or even consider vehicle sharing.

Kejriwal also urged people to download the Green Delhi mobile application and use it to report incidents of violation of set guidelines to combat pollution.

(with inputs from PTI)

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