Doctors' plea to put off Delhi marathon

A Delhi locality shrouded in smog. (AFP)

New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday urged Delhi High Court to postpone a marathon this weekend because of the "poor and unsafe" air quality in the capital.

Taking note of the concerns and the urgency expressed by the association of doctors, a bench of Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva issued notices to the organisers of the Delhi Half Marathon, the Delhi government, police and the pollution control board. Replies have to be sent by the next hearing on November 16, three days before the run on November 19.

The order came on an IMA letter to Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking the postponement. The letter was moved as part of a PIL - the main one among a raft of pleas - taken up by the court to address Delhi's pollution problems.

Based on the PIL, the court has been issuing directives from time to time, including on November 9 when it had passed a slew of orders to improve the air quality. Calling it an "emergency situation", the court had asked the government to consider the option of "cloud seeding" to induce rainfall artificially as an immediate step to bring down the dust and particulate matter.

It had directed the government to seriously consider a ban on further constructions to the extent possible and implementing the "odd-even" vehicle rationing scheme as a short-term measure.

The court had said the smog in the city was a "deadly mixture" of vehicular pollution, construction and road dust and crop stubble burning in neighbouring states. PTI


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