Beijing already warns its citizens of pollution, Delhi takes first steps

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As the world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss solutions for climate change and global warming, metropolitan cities Beijing and New Delhi have been encountering worst air pollution ever.

But there are significantly different government reactions from the governments on the issue of pollution.

While authorities in China have already issued an ‘orange alert’ to warn citizens of staying inside and suspending outdoor activities in schools, there was no similar warning issued in India’s capital New Delhi.

The problem is that Delhi has no formal mechanism for issuing pollution-related alerts to its citizens, despite being deemed the world’s most polluted city by some measures.

However, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has taken an initiative that is aimed at reducing the pollution. The initiative is called ‘Car Free Day’ and it proposes to encourage people to use cycle as much as possible.

The impact of Delhi government’s first ‘Car Free Day’ in the capital has led to a 60 percent drop in the air pollution on the stretch it was implemented, compared to the levels observed on a normal day.

A report released by the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had said, “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.”

The next Car-Free Day in Delhi is on December 22, when it will be implemented in East Patparganj area. And on January 22, it will be implemented in the entire city.

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