[ti:India’s Capital Restricts Car Use to Improve Air Quality]
[00:00.04]Indian officials have banned half of all private vehicles
[00:05.17]from operating in the capital, New Delhi, because of poor air quality.
[00:12.84]An order announced Monday creates a system based on vehicle license numbers
[00:19.78]to restrict personal car use on New Delhi's roads.
[00:25.64]Vehicles with odd number license plates are permitted
[00:29.97]to operate only on odd numbered dates, such as five, seven and nine.
[00:38.04]Those with even numbers can be driven in the city
[00:41.47]only on even dates, such as six, eight and 10.
[00:48.40]Officials estimate the new rule will keep about 1.2 million registered vehicles off the roads each day.
[00:59.52]More than 600 police teams were deployed around the capital
[01:04.40]with the power to hand out $60 fines to drivers failing to obey the law.
[01:12.04]Officials said the measure will remain in place until at least November 15.
[01:20.04]The ban does not affect New Delhi's seven million motorcycles and scooters or public transportation vehicles.
[01:31.16]The restrictions were ordered as the city government
[01:34.49]declared a public health emergency because of pollution levels.
[01:41.08]India's Central Pollution Control Board said on Sunday the average air quality index,
[01:48.30]or AQI, for New Delhi was at 494, the highest level since November 2016, when it reached 497.
[02:02.80]The AQI is considered good when the number is below 50,
[02:08.31]and "satisfactory" when it stays under 100.
[02:14.20]AQI levels between 301 and 500 are considered "hazardous" for all population groups.
[02:25.04]Air pollution levels across northern India reach their highest level before winter
[02:31.48]as farmers set fire to clear their fields after the harvest.
[02:37.96]In New Delhi, air quality is also affected by Diwali.
[02:43.49]The Hindu religious holiday is celebrated around this time of year
[02:48.56]and includes the widespread lighting of fireworks.
[02:53.68]Information released by the World Health Organization last year
[02:57.89]showed that India had the world's 10 most polluted cities.
[03:04.28]Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal
[03:08.24]spoke about the latest air quality in a video published on Twitter.
[03:14.60]"There is smoke everywhere and people, including youngsters,
[03:19.36]kids, elderly are finding it difficult to breathe," he said.
[03:25.96]"Eyes are burning. Pollution is that bad."
[03:31.48]The Indian government has blamed more than half the capital's air pollution
[03:36.65]on emissions from vehicles and industry operations.
[03:42.88]In other measures, officials ordered a temporary ban on work at building projects
[03:49.16]and schools were closed until Wednesday.
[03:54.08]India's Supreme Court called Monday for state governments
[03:58.55]to take steps to reduce worsening air quality
[04:02.58]that it said "could not be allowed in a civilized country."
[04:08.24]The court added, "This can't go on.
[04:11.72]People aren't safe even inside their houses and rooms."
[04:18.20]I'm Bryan Lynn. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM