New Delhi: Continuing its efforts to curb air pollution in the national capital, the city government on Tuesday organised the third Car-Free Day in Delhi on the Vikas Marg stretch in east Delhi's Laxmi Nagar area.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia led a cycle rally from Nirman Vihar Metro Station on the Vikas Marg to mark the occasion.
Entry of cars was restricted on the stretch between Laxmi Nagar and Karkari Mor from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and traffic was diverted to other roads.
As a result, traffic moved at snail's pace near Anand Vihar ISBT and at ITO.
"Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal could not participate in the cycle rally due to ill-health," a government official told IANS.
Twenty additional buses were pressed into service to avoid any inconvenience to the people, the official added.
Before the cycle rally, Sisodia appealed to the people to not use personal cars and opt for public transport just for a day in a month to help bring down pollution which has alarming levels in the city, the official said.
Beating early morning chill, the residents of various areas of east Delhi, including students, came flocking in thousands and took part in the anti-pollution drive.
"It was easy walking on Vikas Marg today (Tuesday). Delhi is on the verge of becoming the most polluted city of the world and in such a situation only these initiatives are going to get results," Manoj Nair, who works at ITO, told IANS.
Praisining the move, Damodar Singh, a 50-year-old Laxmi Nagar resident, said: "It is a very good effort. Though it is for one day only but it would certainly help in bringing down pollution levels to an extent in the city."
Jitesh Kushwaha, who took part in the cycle rally, said: "I am happy to see that people are participating in this cycle rally. It is not a big deal to leave your car at home at least for one day for the sake of the environment."
Car-Free Day, held on the 22nd day of every month, was launched by the Aam Admi Party (AAP) government in October to create public awareness about using public transport and thus bringing down pollution levels in the city.
The first Car-Free Day was held on October 22 on the Red Fort-India Gate stretch and the second in Dwarka on November 22.
The increasingly toxic air in the capital prompted the judiciary to nudge the state government into checking pollution.
The city government then decided to restrict the number of motor vehicles on the roads on a given day based on whether their registration number ends in an even or odd digit. The even-odd system is set to be tried from the first of January next year.