The Delhi government kicked off its month-long 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' campaign across 100 crossings in the city on Monday to reduce vehicular emissions. Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai visited the ITO crossing and appealed to the public to extend their support to make this fight against pollution a success.
Vehicular emissions and dust are significant contributors to the air pollution of any city, the minister said.
"To reduce vehicular pollution, the Delhi government has started a 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' campaign from today (Monday). Data by the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) shows that if people follow the exercise of switching off engines at traffic signals, pollution can be cut down by 13-20 per cent," Rai said.
"This is a public campaign. We all will have to fight together to beat pollution. I appeal to the public to follow the campaign," he added.
Rai said pollution levels were within safe limits in September.
The spike in pollution levels in winters is due to the change in weather and the cases of stubble burning in neighbouring states, the Delhi environment minister added.
"We cannot do anything about stubble burning in neighbouring states. So our effort is to reduce vehicular and dust pollution in Delhi through the 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' campaign and anti-dust drives," he said.
Rai said that he had a meeting with Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav which was attended by environment ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan as well.
"We had raised our concerns about stubble burning in the meeting. The other state governments did not shoulder their responsibilities properly and that's why stubble burning is happening," Rai alleged.
The 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' campaign will continue for a month till November 18.
As many as 2,500 civil defence volunteers will be deployed in two shifts of 8 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 8 pm across 100 traffic junctions in the city for the campaign.
According to officials, these civil defence volunteers will hand out pamphlets carrying information on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's three appeals to the public.
To help fight the pollution in Delhi, Kejriwal had last week appealed to the people to actively participate in the campaign, avoid using their cars at least one day a week, and report any case of violation of pollution norms on the Green Delhi app.
(With inputs from PTI)