Friday April 19, 2019

Kejriwal leads ‘Car Free Day’; pollution level drops by 60%

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www.en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com

NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: The city witnessed a 60 per cent drop in the air pollution on the first Car Free Day, said a report released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Thursday.

The car-free initiative as well as the low traffic load on Dussehra has helped lower the pollution levels and toxic exposure in the city.

“Today (Thursday), the air particulate matter (PM 2.5) was 265 micrograms per cubic metre (cu m) in comparison to a normal day, when the particulate normally was 689 micrograms per cu m,” said the report released on Thursday evening.

Particulate Matter (PM2.5) is an air pollutant that is a concern for people’s health when its levels in the air are high.

PM2.5 are tiny particles in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee too has supported the CSE report and has observed overall drop of 45 percent in PM2.5 level in the city.

The car-free day in Delhi was observed on the stretch between Red Fort and India Gate with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal leading a cycle rally in the morning.

“This initiative of the Delhi government has only helped to prove how the growing car numbers in the city aggravate toxic pollution. If these numbers are controlled, pollution can be lowered significantly,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director (research and advocacy), CSE.

The exposure monitoring on the road was carried out by CSE first on October 21, a regular day, and during the car-free event on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to social media to share the impact of car free day, saying we need to reduce traffic.

In the series of tweets, he said: “Almost 60 percent reduction in pollution noted on that road. It means traffic is main culprit. We have to reduce traffic.”

“Comfortable, reliable, accessible public transport system and better designed roads is the key. I’ll personally work on this,” he added.

(With inputs from IANS)

Next Story

London Becomes First City to Use Pollution Charge Zone: Report

London's famous red bus fleet is also being updated as part of these efforts, and all 9,200 vehicles will meet or exceed ULEZ standards by October 2020, according to the mayor's office

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Environmental campaigners from the direct action group Rebellion demonstrate on Westminster Bridge in central London, Britain. VOA

London is the first city in the world to implement a 24-hour, seven day a week Ultra Low Emission Zone, inside which vehicles will have to meet tough emissions standards or face a charge, media reported.

Monday’s introduction of the zone, known as the ULEZ, aims to reduce toxic air pollution and protect public health, according to a press release from the office of Sadiq Khan, mayor of London.

Vehicles are responsible for around half of harmful nitrogen oxide air emissions in the British capital, contributing to a toxic air health crisis that increases the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia as well as causing thousands of premature deaths every year, the release says.

“This is a landmark day for our city. Our toxic air is an invisible killer responsible for one of the biggest national health emergencies of our generation,” Khan said in the statement.

“The ULEZ is the centerpiece of our plans to clean up London’s air — the boldest plans of any city on the planet, and the eyes of the world are on us.”

According to a CNN Business report, under new rules introduced April 8, polluting vehicles will be discouraged from entering the ULEZ thanks to a daily charge of £12.50 (around $16) for some cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 ($130) for trucks, buses and coaches.

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A Facebook billboard advertisement can be seen at Earls Court underground station in London, July 28, 2018. (VOA)

The zone will cover the same area as the existing Congestion Charge — collected from drivers in the city center — until 2021, when it will be expanded to cover the area between the major orbital roads known as the North and South Circular, it added.

Drivers can check whether their vehicle meets ULEZ emission standards using an online tool provided by travel authority Transport for London.

Also Read- Food Additive in Frozen Meat, Crackers Worsens Flu, Say Researchers

The ULEZ is the next stage in a plan to clean up London’s air, which started with the so-called T-charge — an extra charge for highly polluting vehicles in the city center — introduced in February 2017.

Since then, the number of vehicles entering the zone has fallen by around 11,000 per day, according to official figures, and there has been a 55 per cent increase in emissions-compliant vehicles in the zone.

London’s famous red bus fleet is also being updated as part of these efforts, and all 9,200 vehicles will meet or exceed ULEZ standards by October 2020, according to the mayor’s office. (IANS)