Delhi

Half marathon organisers seek expert help to deal with pollution

A runner wears a face mask during the marathon organised last year.

A runner wears a face mask during the marathon organised last year.   | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO: SAUMYA KHANDELWAL

As the city braces to tackle rising pollution levels, organisers of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) are gearing up to meet the challenge of keeping the event on course on October 21.

The ADHM has deployed city-level pollution machines to provide a safe 21-km passage for runners. In order to avail better running conditions for amateur athletes, the half marathon (which starts at Nehru Stadium) and the 10-km segment (which starts at Jai Singh Marg, near Bangla Sahib) races will begin at 5 a.m.

Vivek Singh, a key member of the organising committee, said, “We are taking all measures possible to ensure a safe passage for our runners. For the first time, we have deployed high-tech machines which bring down micropollutants across a wide area, covering the entire stretch of the marathon route. This in addition to our specially treated water hosing process on the course, mist fans at the venue and suspension of traffic, will give our runners a conducive environment to perform at their best.”

The ADHM has also sought services of pollution experts to deal with the situation.

Devic Earth co-founder Srikanth Sola asserted, “We as green tech experts are using Pure Sky 9000 system to significantly reduce pollution over large city-level areas. Each machine covers a range of 10 km and improves AQI by an average of 33%. This technology has been in use in the United States and Germany. We are excited to deploy this system for the first time at an athletic event.”

However, the half marathon organisers have come in for criticism by health experts for conducting the event at this time of the year.

K.K. Aggarwal, president of Heart Care Foundation of India, observed, “We are not opposed to the marathon but it is a fact that competitive events should not be held when air quality is very poor. There should be strict guidelines for holding sporting events, especially when runners can be impacted by poor pollution. The issue is not the marathon. The issue is the risk to the runners. There should be a national guideline for pollution level.”

The organisers defended the timing of the event. “There is an international marathon calendar and this is the date allotted to us. We strive to provide the best of conditions,” said a member of the ADHM.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2020 1:05:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/half-marathon-organisers-seek-expert-help-to-deal-with-pollution/article25253606.ece

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