Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday said 2,500 civil defence volunteers will be deployed under the city government’s Red Light On, Vehicle Off campaign starting October 18 for effective implementation of the drive to curb vehicular pollution.
The campaign 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.
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. However, at another 10 major intersections, batches of 20 civil defence volunteers each will be engaged, 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, Kejriwal had on Tuesday appealed people to actively participate in Red Light On, Vehicle 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, Rai said.
The campaign comes close on the heels of a report from the DPCC (Delhi Pollution Control Committee) from 7 October that stated that the city breathes its worst air quality from November 1 and November 15 every year. In August a smog tower was also inaugurated at Connaught place to bring down air pollution levels that plague the capital during winter months.
(Cover: Volunteers will be deployed at 20 crossings across the city to raise awareness to reduce vehicular pollution: Getty images)