Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 22
During the national Capital's first "Car-Free Day" -an initiative undertaken by the Delhi Government towards cutting down alarming levels of vehicular carbon footprints by encouraging use of environment-friendly/ public transport in the city-Delhi today witnessed a dramatic drop of 60 per cent in exposure levels to particulate matter (PM2.5) as compared to amounts observed around the same time the previous day.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)'s latest findings - at the stretch from Red Fort to India Gate earmarked for the car-free event- are also supported by the official ambient air quality monitoring of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee that shows 45 per cent decline in overall PM2.5 levels across the city measured at four locations - Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh, R K Puram and Anand Vihar- due to low traffic on the national holiday of Dussehra.
The Chief Minister appealed to people of Delhi to include "bicycling" in their day-to-day routine.
"Car free day impact--Almost 60% redn in pollution noted on that road. It means traffic is main culprit. We HAVE to reduce traffic," Kejriwal posted on the micro-blogging website, Twitter.
"Comfortable, reliable, accessible public transport system n better designed roads is the key. I'll personally work on this," he tweeted.
However, the measured pollution levels were still two times higher than the city-wide PM2.5 level today. Exposure monitoring is normally higher than the ambient level.
Transport Minister Gopal Rai announced that the next Car-Free Day will be held in Dwarka on November 22 while adding that the aim is to make Delhi pollution-free at a time when there are 90,000 cars registered with the Capital's transport department.
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