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    India capital to temporarily restrict cars to curb pollution

    NEW DELHI (AP) – Indian authorities yesterday announced a plan to restrict the movement of private cars in the capital for nearly two weeks after a major Hindu festival that features fireworks.

    Private cars running on petrol and diesel will be allowed in New Delhi only on alternate days from November 4 to 15 depending on whether they have even or odd numbered plates, said New Delhi State Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

    He told reporters that similar restrictions in 2016 reduced air pollution up to 13 per cent.

    Kejriwal also announced plans to sweeping roads mechanically, plant trees and control pollution at 12 hotspots in the city. The state government will sell government-certified N-95 masks that filter out at least 95 per cent of dust in the air.

    Kejriwal appealed to people not to light firecrackers during the Diwali festival on October 27 to prevent smoke from accumulating in air.

    World Health Organization (WHO) data released last year gave India the dubious distinction of having the world’s 10 most polluted cities. Air pollution generally peaks from November 1 with toxic smoke from the burning of agricultural fields in the neighbouring northern states of Haryana and Punjab blow in because of a change in wind direction.

    An Indian woman crosses a road as vehicles move through morning smog in New Delhi, India. PHOTO: AP

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