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Residents of Ghatkopar, Shivani Khot (20) and her sister, Esha (15) came up with a novel idea to curb the heavy amounts of carbon generated at traffic signals. Their idea recommends the implementation of retrofitted blue lights that would blink 10 seconds after the traffic light turns red, and again for 10 seconds before the traffic light turns green. This would serve as an indicator for the motorists to turn off their car/bike engines and turn it back on before the light turns green. 


After the sisters shared their ideas with the relevant authorities and also the Bombay High Court, the HC registrar has now asked the Maharashtra environment department to consider this idea “appropriately in accordance with law”. 


The environment department has then forwarded this onto the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), asking the agency to study this concept further and issue a report on the same.


It’s not known how much more effective this would be compared to countdown timers displayed at traffic signals in some cities. While implementation is going to be a challenge, it will be ultimately down to the willingness of the citizens to adhere to the regulations. In a time like this, many consider the use of a congestion tax as a more viable solution. 


The Khot sisters’ blue traffic lights idea won a national-level gold medal at the All India Universities Anveshan Research Convention 2018 while representing Mumbai University. The sisters also shared the idea with various state department authorities at the “Clean Air Mission Maharashtra” 2019.


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