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Car-free Ahmedabad after Gurgaon: NGT questions Haryana govt’s initiative

Recently Gurgaon observed the ‘No Car’ day, in winter Ahmedabad city will also observe its first ‘No Car’ day. Day will be observed on a Sunday and extended to weekdays depending on the response from citizens.

A day after Gurgaon observed a ‘car-free day’ to free the roads from traffic congestion, the National Green Tribunal today asked Haryana government to inform it about its actual impact on the pollution level in the city.

Gurgaon had yesterday observed a ‘car-free day’ to encourage people to use public modes of transportation, with the police making elaborate arrangements to make the initiative a success.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, took note of media reports saying levels of PM 2.5 emitted by vehicles were lower in the congested Cyber City due to the drive and directed the state government and its pollution board to file an affidavit in this regard.

Fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) is an air pollutant that is a concern for people’s health when levels in air are high.

“The media report mentions that pollution levels have gone down due to the drive. Is it a fact or a gimmick? We want you to indicate whether its factually correct. We just want to know the fact. Either way you are trapped. Indicate the actual time period and standard adopted for the test.

“We want to know whether regulation on cars can help or not. We want to know about this. Tell us on affidavit. Come on Tuesday,” the bench said while hearing a petition against the deteriorating air quality in the capital.

According to the report, there were 10,000 fewer cars on the city’s roads leading to lesser congestion and lowering of pollution by alomost 21 per cent.

Inspired by the idea, now Delhi government has also planned to observe ‘car-free day’ on the road stretch between Red Fort and India Gate on October 22.

The green panel is deliberating on a mechanism to devise an alternative route for commercial vehicles passing through the city to decongest the roads and reduce vehicular emissions.

Car-free Gurgaon: NGT questions Haryana govt’s initiative