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Question Mark over Airtel Delhi Half Marathon amidst Rising Pollution Levels; Will the Event Shift to a New Window?

The Indian Medical Association had called for cancellation of the event a few days ago

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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) is an annual half marathon foot-race held in New Delhi, India (representative image) Pixabay

New Delhi, November 10, 2017 : The alarming levels of pollution in the national capital has forced the organisers of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon to consider shifting the event to a new window.

“There is a possibility to shift this event to a new window… we may organize the event earlier or later. We have the option of the alternative window. We will discuss with our stakeholders and see which will the best window for the event,” said Vivek Singh, Joint Managing Director of the Procam International, the organizers of the event, here on Thursday.

A few days ago, Airtel, who have been one of the prime sponsors of the event for the last nine years, also threatened to pull out of the annual event citing pollution levels in the city but however, came out in support of the organizers on Thursday.

“As always, we will continue to support the event. It is great to see the fantastic response to the call for registration for Airtel Delhi Half Marathon,” said Ravi Negi, CEO of Bharti Airtel, Delhi NCR.

Singh also asserted the foreign athletes have gone back satisfied with the conditions in previous editions of the event.

“All foreign participants are aware of the situation and will participate. Last year, Rio Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge won the event in almost similar conditions and returned without complains,” he said.

“You cannot cancel an international event so easily. Athletes are preparing since last many months and there is no question of cancelling the event.”

The Indian Medical Association had called for cancellation of the event a few days ago but Singh said the event will go on as planned.

“They have issued a warning and they are right. It is a concern but we still have 10 days to go and air quality might improve,” he said.

“To reduce the pollutants, roads will be sprayed and treated with salt water and all vehicles will be off roads 12 hours prior to the event, and hopefully improved air conditions will bring better running experience for the participants.” (IANS)

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Union Environment Ministry Rolling out Anti-pollution Measures for Delhi NCR region

Pointing out the need for fully implementing the anti-pollution measures, he said that errant officials and those violating norms will be fined. He said the Environment Ministry and the CPCB are monitoring the situation and coordinating with the states on a daily basis

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The country is affected by high levels of air pollution, both ambient and indoors. Pixabay

The Union Environment Ministry and the states in the Delhi NCR region have agreed on a special campaign for rolling out anti-pollution measures, including taking action against negligent officials.

Environment Secretary C.K. Mishra said that the previous instructions of the Ministry, and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have been reviewed and the instructions in the recent Supreme Court order have been collated into a roadmap and these will be implemented for the next 15 days. The best measures out of these will be used till the end of December on a sustained basis, he added.

After review meeting with officials of the states in the region – Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan – it was decided that negligent officials who are not able to curb pollution will be punished.

Odd-Even scheme
In spite of Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme, pollution has reached a severe level. Pixabay

“Deliberate omission and negligence will not be tolerated. Accountability will be fixed on officials. Government will intensify its crackdown on those violating anti-pollution norms,” Mishra said.

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Pointing out the need for fully implementing the anti-pollution measures, he said that errant officials and those violating norms will be fined. He said the Environment Ministry and the CPCB are monitoring the situation and coordinating with the states on a daily basis.

He said that there has been a spate of bad meteorology in Delhi NCR due to which pollution spiked, adding that meteorology plays an important role in pollution due to Delhi’s geographical location. “We cannot change the meteorology, what we can do is to bring the level of pollutants down by taking effective measures,” Mishra said. (IANS)