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| Last Updated:17/03/2020

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Paris pushes half the cars off roads to cut pollution

PARIS: In a bid to reduce the health-threatening cloud of polluted air which has settled on northern France, half of the diesel and petrol cars in greater Paris will be banned from roads Monday. 

From 5 a.m. only odd-numbered cars will be allowed to drive in the Ile-de-France, the wealthiest and most populated of the 27 administrative regions of France, unless they have electric or hybrid motors, The Independent reported Sunday. 

Taxis, buses, emergency vehicles and cars carrying three people or more are exempted. All trucks are banned. 

The restrictions will apply to even-numbered cars Tuesday unless the weather changes. Foreign vehicles must obey the rules. 

Since last Wednesday, a run of warm, windless days and cold clear nights has clamped a lid of warm air over northern France. Minuscule particles of pollution from car exhausts, industry and agriculture have accumulated under that lid to dangerous levels. 

France is especially vulnerable to this kind of pollution since it is 60 per cent dependent on diesel cars. In the 1960s, the French government and industry made a strategic decision that diesel engines were less polluting and would gradually supersede petrol.

The Times of India (16-03-2014)