Delhi govt extends 'Red light on, Gaadi Off' campaign till Nov 30

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New Delhi, Nov 11 (PTI) Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday said the AAP government has decided to extend the 'Red light on, Gaadi Off' campaign to curb vehicular pollution till November 30.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had launched the campaign on October 21, saying that even if 10 lakh vehicles in the city join the campaign, the PM10 levels would fall by 1.5 tonnes and PM2.5 by 0.4 tonnes in a year.

“The campaign was to continue till November 15. However, the Delhi government has decided to extend it till November 30 considering the pollution situation,” Rai said during a press conference. It will be called 'Phase 2' of the campaign, he said.

Rai had earlier said that switching vehicles off while waiting at a red light can reduce vehicular pollution by 15-20 per cent.

He also appealed to the opposition to desist from making statements that provoke people against the ban on firecrackers.

“We need everyone's support in implementing the ban. If you cannot support the cause, please don't make any provocative statements. Pollution doesn't differentiate between people... The situation is critical due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The Delhi government had on November 5 banned the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers in the city till November 30.

On Monday, the National Green Tribunal also imposed a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region from November 9 midnight to November 30 midnight, saying 'celebration by crackers is for happiness and not to celebrate deaths and diseases'.

The minister said a 15-member panel set up to ascertain the effectiveness of 'Pusa bio-decomposer' solution in reducing stubble burning in the city will submit its report to the chief minister on Thursday.

According to scientists at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, the solution can turn crop residue into manure in 15 to 20 days and therefore, can prevent stubble burning.

Asked if the Delhi government was planning to bring in the odd-even car rationing scheme, Rai said the AAP dispensation has already launched the 'Red light on, Gaadi Off' campaign to curb vehicular pollution.

'But if the commission issues any direction in this regard, we will implement it,' he said.

The minister also appealed to people to do their bit in the fight against pollution. PTI GVS RHL