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Delhi Pollution: 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' Campaign from Wednesday, to Focus on Self-compliance

A cyclist rides past India Gate amid smoggy condition in New Delhi. (AFP)

A cyclist rides past India Gate amid smoggy condition in New Delhi. (AFP)

The campaign will be focussed on 100 busiest crossings in Delhi across 11 districts. The traffic department has given a list of these locations to the government. 2,500 civil defence volunteers have been appointed for this campaign.

Rupashree Nanda

The 'red light on, gaadi off' campaign will be launched in Delhi from October 21 till November 15 and will rely on self-compliance without any coercive enforcement measures.

Addressing a press conference, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said, "After discussions, it has been decided that the ground campaign will be launched in Delhi from October 21 till November 15. This will be an awareness campaign, there will be no enforcement. The ownership of this will be that of the people of Delhi who are worried about the pollution and want to stop it for the sake of their children and old parents."

Emphasising that the campaign is purely self-driven, Rai said, "We have to voluntarily participate in this. There will be no enforcement of any kind. This is a campaign that will go forward on self-ownership."

The campaign will be focussed on 100 busiest crossings in Delhi across 11 districts. The traffic department has given a list of these locations to the government. 2,500 civil defence volunteers have been appointed for this campaign.

Elaborating on this, Rai said, "This campaign will run from 8am till 8pm. Traffic police has selected the 100 busiest crossings, which will be the focus area of this campaign. 2,500 environment marshals are being deployed in these 100 crossings in two shifts. In 10 busiest crossings, the number of marshals will be doubled."

In order to turn this into a "jan andolan", all MPs and MLAs, corporators, political parties will be asked to help raise awareness. The government will also appeal to Delhi's RWAs, Market Associations, Eco-clubs, FICCI, ASOCHAM, NGOs, officers associations, karmachari associations, trade unions through letters to participate in.

After the anti-dust campaign and the use of PUSA bio-decomposer to decompose 'parali', this is the third stage of Delhi's war against pollution. Referring to the hefty fines imposed by the government when anti-dust measures have been flouted, while Rai emphasized that the government does not want to take any harsh steps, in the times of a pandemic it will not hesitate in doing so when there is no other way out.

The government will resort to emergency measures like "odd even" only as a "last weapon" in combating pollution and is now focussing on the present measures, said Rai.


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