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Delhi to host Airtel Half Marathon tomorrow even as air remains 'very poor'

Delhi air quality is extremely poor and it would be unsafe to continue with the marathon, IMA said

Agencies  |  New Delhi 

smog, delhi smog
File photo of Delhi smog

Delhi is all set to host on Sunday even as the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi Capital Region (NCR) continued to remain in the 'very poor category' on Saturday.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed the marathon after the organisers assured the court that they were ready to deal with medical emergencies.

The court was informed that the organisers have made arrangements for two medical camps, 100 nurses, 75 doctors, and a local hospital in case of medical emergency.

The court's order came during a hearing on a letter from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) urging that the marathon be postponed due to poor air quality.

The air quality is extremely poor and it would be unsafe to continue with the marathon, the IMA has said in its letter and urged to cancel or postpone the marathon to a later date when the air quality improves.

As per weather data issued late on Friday evening, the pollution level was estimated to have climbed to twelve times above the prescribed limit.

Air quality over Anand Vihar was recorded at 260, Punjabi Bagh at 251, Siri Fort at 236 and Shadipur at 214.

So far, 49 trains have been delayed, 14 have been rescheduled and one cancelled due to pollution.

Traffic restrictions to be in place

Traffic restrictions will be in place for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) to be held on Sunday.

The restrictions have been put on over a dozen roads, including Bhishma Pitamah Marg, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Marg, Lodhi Road, Mathura Road, Parliament Street, Subramaniam Bharti Marg, C-Hexagon India Gate, Janpath Rajpath and the Windsor Place.

The participants of the half marathon will assemble at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Traffic will not be permitted on the route of the marathon from 6 am to 11.30 am. Vehicles will also not be permitted towards the route from internal roads, said Garima Bhatnagar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic).

Traffic will be diverted from 22 points, including Madarasa T Point, Lodhi Road-MaxMuller crossing, Aurobindo Chowk, Motilal Nehru Marg, Mualana Azad-Janpath crossing, C- Hexagon-Ashoka Road, Neela Gumbad-Mathura Road, Moolchand flyover and Andrews Ganj Chowk, the officer said.

There is very limited parking available. The participants will park their vehicles as per their lables at facilities at Barapulla, SunehriPullah, Dayal Singh College, near India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, Scope Complex and inside Gate No 5 of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (VIP Parking).

Adequate traffic arrangements have been made for diversion and regulation of traffic. General public and motorists are advised to use public transport to avoid congestion on roads, said the officer.

The continued hovering of smog over the capital and adjoining areas is primarily being attributed farmers burning stubble of the previous crop so that they can plant new crop in November and December.

Apart from crop burning, other factors contributing to the problem are industrial smog, vehicle exhaust and dust particles.

The Supreme Court had also sought expeditious action to tackle the worsening air quality.

The apex court further observed that it was an emergency-like situation in the region.

Till now, chief ministers of Delhi and Haryana have had a discussion on the issue and have promised to take appropriate measures over the next year to prevent a repeat of the current scenario.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain (Retired) Amarinder Singh has so far refused to meet Delhi Chief Minister on the matter.

First Published: Sat, November 18 2017. 13:44 IST