Hundreds of school children today took pledge in the presence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to fight pollution and convince their parents, relatives and friends to adhere to the odd-even scheme to be rolled out in two days.
“Convince your parents, relatives and friends to follow the odd-even scheme. We are to do this not out of any imposition, but because it is important for our health and life.
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“If you see anyone violating the odd-even scheme, just roll down your car window and ask that person to go back home. If the same person receives 10 such remarks in a day, it would stir his conscience and persuade him to keep his car off the road,” Kejriwal said, addressing the students at Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya in north Delhi’s Civil Lines.
Before the students took the oath, the Chief Minister also encouraged them to convince their parents and relatives to go for carpooling, as public transport vehicles like buses and Delhi Metro are likely to be quite crowded for 15 days during which the scheme is to be implemented, starting January 1.
“I, myself, shall carpool with Transport Minister Gopal Rai, who lives not very far away from my residence,” Kejriwal said.
During the programme ‘Pollution Free Delhi’, a student asked the Chief Minister about the exemption on medical emergencies provided in the scheme and how is it to be implemented on the ground, to which Kejriwal replied by saying that the scheme is largely based on trust.
On being asked about the probability of people buying two cars to evade the scheme, the Chief Minister called it a “baseless claim” being propagated for the past few days.
“Media is exaggerating about people buying two cars to evade the scheme. Not too many people are that rich, and the affluent ones already have more than one car. These are all baseless claims being propagated from the past few days. And above all, it is not a permanent scheme anywhere,” said Kejriwal.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Rai were also present on the occasion.
Kejriwal asked the students to tell their parents to get pollution under control certificates for their vehicles even as he said that the state government is taking necessary measures to curb pollution from industrial units located in the capital.
A sixth class student approached the Chief Minister and said that he wants to bicycle to school. However, he is scared of the big vehicles on the road.
Calling the child close to the podium, Kejriwal said that the AAP government is already working on a road redesigning plan and most roads in Delhi will soon have separate cycling lanes.
Replying to another question, Kejriwal referred to some people having converted their petrol cars to CNG in view of the exemption for the latter provided in the scheme, but said that no such rule for compulsory conversion of vehicles can be enforced.
At the outset, the Chief Minister began by explaining to the children the issue of air pollution, particularly discussing the harm caused PM 2.5 and PM 10.
He also mentioned about a series of measures, including vacuum cleaning of roads from April 1 in the coming year to launching of application to report instances of people burning garbage and planning by-pass roads for heavy vehicles which move from one state to another via Delhi.