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Delhi's Car Free Day brings down air pollution level: CSE
NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has found dramatic reduction in the exposure levels to particulate pollution on the stretch from Red Fort to India Gate during the car-free day that was observed in Delhi on October 22. Pollution levels were 60 per cent lower than the levels observed in the same place, at the same time, day before yesterday.

According to a press release by the CSE this observed reduction is further supported by the city-wide official ambient monitoring done by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. This has shown an overall drop of 45 per cent in PM2.5 level in the city.

The car-free initiative as well as the low traffic load on the national holiday of Dussehra has helped lower the pollution levels and toxic exposure in the city. Says CSE's executive director (research and advocacy) Anumita Roychowdhury in a statement said, "This initiative of the Delhi government has only helped to prove how the growing car numbers in Delhi aggravate toxic pollution; if these numbers are controlled, pollution can be lowered significantly."

He added, "Though this event has been planned for one road stretch a day every month to help build public awareness, this will need simultaneous action to restrain car usage on a daily basis for the real change. Otherwise, this will get reduced to only a symbolic gesture. Restraint on cars can help to save lives and protect the lungs of our children."

CSE has carried out real time exposure monitoring on the stretch from Red Fort to India Gate that was earmarked for the half-day car-free event.

Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also acknowledged CSE's finding which said that pollution level was down by 60 per cent in comparison to any other day.


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