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Tuesday 18 February 2020

Kejriwal, dealing with Delhi pollution, targets Diwali like lib-left

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said there were more than 50 lakh two-wheelers plying in Delhi and yet motorcycles and scooters may again be exempted from the odd-even rule

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that pollution has been reduced by 25% so far in his city-state. Pollution is controlled when everyone works together, he said, appealing to the people to not burst crackers during Diwali to help conserve the environment. The chief minister of the capital city-state was dealing with the measure of his government to ration the use of private vehicles with the policy of odd- and even-numbered cars allowed on roads on alternate days.

Kejriwal said that the central government had worked towards the reduction of pollution, too, by building peripheral expressways. Municipal corporations have done their work, he added, and most of the work has been done by the people of Delhi, who have supported the Delhi government’s tough steps.

Kejriwal noted that Delhi was witnessing smog increasingly now as smoke billowing from the crop stubble burnt in states around Delhi mix with the fog generated during the winter. The chief minister appealed to all governments to work towards stopping this smoke. “We are going to take many steps,” Kejriwal said, adding that people should not burn crackers during Diwali. The government will organise Diwali, he said, adding an appeal: “Come to Connaught Place with family on 26 October; laser shows will be organised.”

Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal appreciated the ‘modern’ way of celebrating Diwali in his tweet. He wrote: “Held meeting on Eco-friendly Diwali Celebrations at Connaught Place from 26th October to 29th October, 2019 with Hon’ble Dy. CM @msisodia, CS, Delhi, @tweetndmc@DelhiPolice@tourism_delhi and DC, New Delhi Distt.

Editor’s note

The establishment, comprising the Supreme Court, as well as film actors from Bollywood are often heard appealing to Hindus (without naming the community) to observe cracker-free Diwali even as they indulge in this as well as other polluting activities in their personal lives.

Sample this. Priyanka Chopra’s appeal for cracker-less Diwali:

Fireworks at Priyanka Chopra’s wedding with Nick Jonas:

The chief minister of Delhi said that the odd-even policy will be executed from 4 to 15 November. This time again, women will be outside the purview of the diktat from a “safety point of view”. But this exemption will apply only if the woman is driving and has a child with her for 12 years; only then she will be spared the rule.

This time, private CNG vehicles will not get an exemption from the odd-even rule. He said that public transport here was not as strong. A decision has not yet been taken on the exemption of two-wheelers (motorcycles and scooters) yet. The chief minister said that there were more than 50 lakh two-wheelers and 5 lakh CNG cars plying in Delhi. “We have asked the DTC for 2,000 more buses,” Kejriwal said, adding that his government was considering a change in office hours at to suit the odd-even rule.

Editor’s note

Till March 2018, the number of cars registered in Delhi was 32,46,637 while the number of motorcycles and scooters combined was more than double that figure: 70,78,428. No wonder, the mitigating impact of the odd-even edict is hardly felt in the capital, as two-wheelers were exempted from the rule in the past three years and may continue to enjoy the exemption this winter again.

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