The Delhi Government on Friday announced the ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign to reduce vehicular pollution in the national capital. Just like the previous year, campaign will start from October 28th, after Diwali.
Through the campaign, which proved to be a huge success in the past as well in spreading awareness about vehicular pollution, public representatives and officials motivate commuters to turn their vehicles off at the red lights in a bid to curb vehicular pollution.
Giving more details at a press conference, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said, “First phase of ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign will run from October 28 to November 28. We will make commuters aware about vehicular pollution through various means. The campaign will run mainly on 100 crowded intersections.”
According to Rai Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also given his approval to rope in 2,500 civil defence volunteers to implement the ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign on the ground.
The Delhi Environment Minister said awareness campaign will run in two shifts from 8 AM to 2 PM, and 2 PM to 8 PM.
Rai also added, “Pollution in Delhi rises to a critical level. In order to tighten a noose on it, CM Arvind Kejriwal announced a 15-point Winter Action Plan. Today, he took stock of progress in work done under the Action Plan. We submitted a detailed report on the functioning of the war room, running of the anti-dust campaign and spraying of bio-decomposer over stubble to the Chief Minister. However, the estimates according to the experts state that if there is a change in wind direction after Diwali, then there can be a rise in the pollution level of Delhi. The Government is in alert mode and we will use the GRAP system as per the direction of CAQM with utmost strictness.”
Rai said, “Along with this, the CM has instructed that, along with dust pollution, biomass burning, vehicle pollution also contributes significantly to the air pollution in Delhi. Accordingly, we will start a mega-campaign ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ after Diwali from October 28th, just like the previous year. The first phase of the campaign will go on for one month till November 28th. We will take future decisions after reviewing its effectiveness. 2,500 civil defence volunteers will be deployed for the running of the campaign. These volunteers will raise awareness in every part of Delhi, including 100 major four-ways. We are preparing a list of these 100 four-ways. 10-10 volunteers will be deployed on each four-way in two different shifts in a day. The campaign will run for 12 hours a day. First shift will go on from 8AM to 2PM and the second shift will run from 2PM-8PM.”
“Traffic Police will run this campaign by focusing on 10 major four-ways of Delhi which face high traffic. Instead of 10, 20 civil defence volunteers will be deployed in each shift on such four-ways. These civil defence volunteers will raise awareness through placards, banners. Last year, we observed that there are a lot of drivers who do not switch off their engines at red lights. We will present them with flowers and request them through Gandhigiri to switch-off their engines. Paryavaran Mitra, RWAs, Market Associations, Eco-clubs, NGOs will also be made a part of this campaign so that they visit every doorstep and create awareness for switching-off engines at red lights.”
On question of the benefit of switching off engines at red light, Rai elaborated, “A survey of the Petroleum Conservation Research Association states that vehicle pollution can be reduced by 15-20 per cent if all the engines are switched off at red light. Consider this real-life situation. When someone steps out of their house with a vehicle, they cross 8-10 four-ways during their journey. If the duration of the red light is 2 minutes and we do not switch off our engine, we are burning fuel unnecessarily for 25-30 minutes. It is only our mindset that when the red light turns green and if our engine is not on, other vehicles will overtake us.”
“The success of the entire campaign”, asserted Rai, ” will depend on our mindset and attitude. I am requesting the people of Delhi to become a part of this entire campaign along with ministers, MLAs, officers, RWAs and NGOs of Delhi. You can make your contribution by avoiding unnecessary burning of fuel.”
Rai said that the success of anti-dust campaign in Delhi, use of bio-decomposer to decompose stubble and implementation of the GRAP system and driving people’s interest in purchasing electric vehicles, are clear indicator that this drive too will be a success and help in controlling air pollution after Diwali. Preparations to kick-start the ‘Red light on, Vehicle off’ campaign on October 28th are going at full-swing.”