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LET OUR CITY BREATHE

About the initiative

In 2014, after a WHO report showed Delhi’s air to be the most polluted in the world, The Times of India launched Let Delhi Breathe. The objective was to create wide-spread awareness on this new health hazard and get authorities to act early on. A shock and awe campaign was rolled-out to create awareness around how air pollution in Delhi deserves immediate attention and action. This was backed by a strong content plan spearheaded by TOI editorial experts and regular engagement with experts and relevant authorities. Gradually the initiative was expanded to other cities as Let Our City Breathe, with a focus on solutions and how the readers can combat the issue at an individual level.

Impact:

  • Euro 4 diesel norms were rolled out across India on April 1, 2015, 2 years. This was ahead of schedule.
  • Rolling out of Euro 6 norms for fuel and vehicles was advanced to 2020, 4 years ahead of schedule.
  • NGT imposed an entry cess on every truck entering Delhi, leading to reduction in trucks entry into Delhi by 70%.
  • NGT imposed a fine/jail term on public burning of leaves/garbage.
  • Completion of Western and Eastern Peripheral Expressway, which has led to 50,000 vehicles/day bypassing Delhi.
  • Leading auto manufacturers are phasing out manufacturing of their diesel vehicles. 
  • Found mention in international media including The Economist and NYT as a pioneering initiative in this space.

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