Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday said civil defence volunteers will be deployed at 100 traffic intersections in the national capital from Wednesday as part of the “Red Light On, Gaadi Off” campaign.
The initiative will be launched from ITO, he said, adding that it will only be an awareness drive and nobody will be issued a “challan”.
“The Delhi government thinks that if everyone is affected due to pollution during the Covid-19 situation, then everyone needs to contribute, whether for two minutes or at a traffic signal. We are aggressively launching an awareness campaign. I believe that when something starts, it looks tough, but it will gradually become the culture of the national capital,” Rai said.
He said the Delhi Police has selected 100 traffic intersections for the campaign.
“We had three rounds of joint meetings with the police, the transport department and the environment department. The Delhi Police has selected and given us 100 intersections.
“We are appointing around 2,500 environment marshals from civil defence. They will coordinate with the traffic police and take the campaign froward. We are also deploying teams of the transport department,” the minister said.
The marshals will be deployed at the 100 traffic signals across Delhi’s 11 districts.
They will carry placards and give roses to those not switching off the engines of their vehicles at red lights. The commuters will be made aware as to how they can fight pollution through the move, Rai said.
“We think the pollution in Delhi affects all of us and all of us need to take the responsibility of resolving this issue. If we need a permanent solution, then the sources of the pollution will have to be controlled.
“I request people to turn off the engines of their vehicles if they spend more than 15 seconds at a traffic signal. It will save fuel and reduce pollution,” he said. The campaign is a big positive step, the minister said, adding, “Around one crore vehicles are registered in the national capital and experts say that on an average, a vehicle stops at a red light for 15-20 minutes in a day and burns fuel unnecessarily.” “There is a need to change the mindset. It is a campaign through which we can try to control 15-20 per cent pollution caused by vehicles. We can stop the unnecessarily fuel-burning at traffic signals and nobody will be affected by this. We are writing to MPs, MLAs, councillors, RWAs and others to participate in the campaign,” he said.
Rai pointed out that the odd-even rule does not apply to two-wheelers and autorickshaws in Delhi, but the campaign targets all commuters.