Delhi will host its first Car Free Day on Thursday in what the AAP government says is a symbolic move in the battle against pollution.
No car will ply on the 6.5-km stretch between the 17th century Red Fort in Old Delhi and India Gate, a World War I monument, in the heart of the capital on Thursday.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will lead the bicycle rally. He has been practising cycling at his home the past two days.
Some 84 lakh vehicles ply in Delhi every day, contributing to its chaotic traffic and worsening quality of air.
Between 7 a.m. and 12 noon, shuttle buses will run on the stretch.
Delhi’s Transport Minister Gopal Rai admitted to IANS that “there is not much the government can do about pollution except organising such events.
“It is up to the people to use more and more public transport,” Rai said.
“The day is largely symbolic. We will will not be able the assess the reduction in pollution on that stretch.”
The minister has announced that Delhi will mark a Car Free day on the 22nd of every month. The routes will be decided by the city government.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has reportedly been practicing to improve his cycling skills to take part in Car Free Day.