Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday said 2,500 civil defence volunteers will be deployed under the city government’s ‘Red Light On, Gadi Off’ campaign starting October 18 for curbing vehicular pollution.
The drive will be prominently carried out at 100 traffic intersections spread across 13 police districts in the city, he said, adding that a mock drill of the campaign will be conducted on Sunday.
Mr Rai said that the decision was taken after a joint meeting with the Delhi Police, civil defence officials, environment department officials and SDMs on Thursday.
“In the meeting, it was decided that this campaign to check pollution will be carried out on 100 crossings in 13 police districts. At 90 crossings, batches of 10 civil defence volunteers each will be deployed. At the remaining 10 major intersections, batches of 20 civil defence volunteers each will be engaged,” Mr Rai said.
Major crossings where 20 volunteers each will be deployed include ITO, Bhagwandas crossing on Tilak Marg, Tolstoy crossing on Barakhamba Road, Chandgi Ram Akhara crossing, near Moti Bagh Metro, Peeragarhi Chowk, Prithviraj Road crossing, Rajesh Pilot Marg, Madhuban Chowk, Pitampura metro crossing and Karkari Mor.
He said these civil defence volunteers will work as ‘Paryavaran Marshals’ and also hand out pamphlets carrying information regarding Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s three appeals to the public.
To help fight pollution in Delhi, Mr Kejriwal had on Tuesday appealed people to actively participate in ‘Red Light On, Gadi Off’ campaign and also avoid using their car at least for one day in a week. He had also appealed to Delhiites to report any case of violation of pollution norms on the Green Delhi App.
The minister further said that the main aim of this campaign is to cut down on vehicular pollution. He said the campaign will continue for a month till November 18.
The civil defence volunteers will be deployed in two shifts of 8 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 8 pm.
He said that Delhi government will do whatever it can to keep the levels of pollution considerably low in the city.
“As per a PCRA (Petroleum Conservation Research Association) report, switching off engines on red lights can reduce pollution by about 13-20 per cent and can save around Rs 2,500 crore annually. Last year this campaign was a success so we appeal the public to make it a success again this year,” Mr Rai said.
Later in a statement, the government said that by switching off cars at red lights, Rs 250 crore can be saved annually.
He said that to make this campaign successful, RWAs, market associations, clubs and NGOs are also being reached out so that they can spread awareness about the campaign through their platforms.
Mr Rai said that Delhi has to bear two kinds of pollution — one, that comes from within, and the second, that comes from other states.
“Our responsibility is to reduce the pollution that we internally create to keep ourselves healthy. We are in dialogue with other states and the Centre as well, and have appealed to them to reduce stubble burning pollution, but we do not know when they will hear us,” Mr Rai said.
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