Drive against idling cars at traffic lights in Delhi | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: A drive against air pollution called “Red light on, gaadi off” was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday to encourage people to switch off the engine of their vehicles at red traffic signals to reduce emissions caused by idling.
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It is estimated that if just 10 lakh out of the one crore registered vehicles in Delhi turned off ignition at traffic signals, around 1.5 tonnes of PM10 emissions would be reduced each year, while PM2.5 would reduce by 400kg. The initiative was launched under the “Yuddh, Pradushan Ke Viruddh” campaign of Delhi government.
“We need the cooperation of people. We have noticed that when vehicles stop at a red signal, drivers do not turn the engine off. Idling releases toxic emissions. Delhi has around one crore registered vehicles. Even if just 30-40% come out on the streets, you can imagine how polluted the air can become,” said Kejriwal.
The chief minister added that experts had analysed and presented data on the impact this initiative could have on Delhi’s air. It could also lead to fuel savings. “When a car is idling, it emits a lot more pollutants than while moving. Idling for 10 seconds emits more pollutants than turning off the engine and restarting it. In this way, you can also save fuel,” he said.
“On average, a car spends 15-20 minutes at red traffic signals each day. During this time, around 200ml of fuel is used. However, if you switch off the car’s engine, Rs 7,000 can be saved each month,” said Kejriwal.
A 2018 study by The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) found that vehicles contributed about 18% to Delhi’s PM2.5 concentration in summer, while it increased to 23% during winter.
Delhi government has taken several steps to bring down pollution levels over the last few weeks, including the launch of an anti-dust campaign, using bio-decomposer solution on crop stubble, launch of an electric vehicle policy and a tree transplantation policy. “Stubble burning has already started in the neighbouring states and the number of farm fires is also increasing. I feel the toxic air becomes a bit diluted when it reaches Delhi, but the farmers who burn the stubble are the worst hit,” the CM said.
“Vehicular emission in winter stays near the surface and contributes to air pollution, which is dangerous for us. Delhi residents together brought down the pollution level by 25% in the last five years. I hope every citizen will join this campaign,” Kejriwal added.

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