Green Signal From High Court To Delhi's Half Marathon

Citing the air quality, the doctors had asked to the people not to venture outdoors without any pressing need.

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Green Signal From High Court To Delhi's Half Marathon

As there is a drop in pollution levels, the Delhi half-marathon will be held on Sunday.


New Delhi:  The Delhi half-marathon will be held on Sunday as scheduled, the Delhi high court said today as the pollution levels showed a slight drop. The Indian Medical Association had requested the court to call off the marathon in view of the huge spike in pollution last week, which doctors had dubbed a public health emergency.

In view of the slight drop in pollution levels, a top pollution control body also lifted the ban on trucks and construction activity and rolled back the four-fold hike in parking fee with "immediate effect".

On Wednesday, the level of air pollution in Delhi was marked "very poor" instead of "severe" where it has been hovering for 10 days. Around 6 pm on Tuesday, the average level of PM 2.5 -- deadly particulate matter that has diameter less than 2.5mm -- was 351 units, down from over the 450-490 range but still 14 times the safe limit.

Citing the air quality, which showed "severe" pollution levels since November 6, the top medical body had filed an appeal for cancellation of the event. The doctors had asked to the people not to venture outdoors without any pressing need. The Delhi government had seconded the advice, saying the city was resembling a "gas chamber".

The court, too, had agreed the deadly cocktail of gases and dust that caused a spike in respiratory troubles an "emergency situation".

A bench had pulled up the Delhi government for failing to take preventive action in time and contested the government's contention that stubble burning by farmers in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh was largely responsible for the crisis.

"There are other elephants in the room," the bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva said and asked the officials to consider the option of cloud seeding -- a process to artificially induce rainfall by spraying chemicals that enrich rain-bearing clouds.


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