Millions of Delhiites Are Getting Ready for the Government’s Car Ban

Thick smog covering Delhi 1 photo
Photo: Altaf Qadri
To fight the increasing level of pollution, Delhi’s Government is imposing a new set of extreme rules, such as banning private cars from the roads on alternate days starting with January 1, 2016, shutting a number of coal-fired power plants, and vacuuming roads to reduce dust. The biggest problem for Delhi residents is that they will have to figure out new ways of going to work.
The measures will be enforced for an initial two-week trial period, from 8 am to 8 pm every day except Sunday, but considering India’s capital city is the most polluted region in the world, the residents fear that the Government will maintain the car-ban for longer.

Although Delhi’s transport minister Gopal Rai asked people to understand that these draconic measures are for their own good, some voices fear that Delhi residents will create an alternative solution for themselves by forging number plates or even buying a second car.

Police and more than 10,000 volunteers will monitor cars at certain checkpoints throughout the city, and those who break the law will be fined with $30.11 (2,000 rupees), a significant amount for regular citizens.

Officials already hired 3,000 private buses to provide shuttle service into the city, as more and more citizens will use the public transport as long as the ban is in effect. Schools are also closed until January 15 so that their buses could join this operation.

Specialists think that to blame for Delhi’s hazardous pollution levels during winter are the 8.5 million cars registered in the city, farmers in neighboring states burning crops, or the poor residents lighting fires to keep them warm, as Business Day reports.

This set of new measures comes right after India’s Supreme Court banned new diesel car sales in Delhi and doubled a tax imposed on trucks coming into the city. To better understand the gravity of the problem, you should know that at a recent important festival, air pollution in the capital city reached 40 times the limit recommended by the World Health Association
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