Indian capital banishes some cars in hope of clearing the air

(Reuters News, 4 Nov 2019) Vehicular exhaust along with emissions from industry contribute more than 50% of Delhi's air pollution on most days through the year.

Authorities in the Indian capital on Monday banished from the roads cars with number plates ending in an odd number in a bid to cut hazardous air pollution shrouding the city.

The U.S. Embassy air quality index, which measures the concentration of tiny PM 2.5 particles, exceeded 500, indicating serious aggravation of heart and lung disease, and premature mortality in people with existing diseases and the elderly.

Pollution at this level also means serious risk of effects on the respiratory systems of the general population.

The city government has declared a public health emergency, and imposed an "odd-even" system on private vehicles, at least until Nov. 15.

On Monday, drivers with even-numbered license plates were the lucky ones. Morning traffic was thin and drivers appeared to be obeying the rule - a Reuters reporter saw no vehicles with odd-numbered license plates on the streets.

"It' a huge inconvenience because I'm not going to make it on time for my meetings," said Sagar Bajaj, 29, struggling to find a taxi in central Delhi's busy Connaught Place.

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Reuters News, 4 Nov 2019: Indian capital banishes some cars in hope of clearing the air