Airtel Delhi Half Marathon may be held at some other time of the year due to the high air pollution levels, which are forcing organizers to mull shifting the event to a new window. Though the courts gave the nod to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, the national capital is engulfed in deadly smog, which can be hazardous for the runners. Air pollution can create a health emergency.
There is possibility to shift the event to new window. We may organize this event earlier or later. We have an option of alternative window. We will discuss with stakeholders, and see the best window for this event, said Vivek Singh, who is the Joint Managing Director of Procam International, organizers of the event.
A handful of days ago, one of the main sponsors of the event, Bharti Airtel, one of India’s top telecom companies, sounded skeptical and threatened to pull out of the event, citing air pollution levels in Delhi. Airtel minced no words.
“Air pollution poses serious health risks, and it’s important the concerns are addressed urgently and appropriately by authorities for Airtel to continue associating with this event next year and beyond,” Airtel had said in a statement.
Airtel, however, supported the organizers later. “We will continue to support this event. It’s great to see the response to the registration for ADHM,” said Ravi Negi, the CEO of Bharti Airtel, in Delhi and NCR.
You can’t cancel an international event easily. Athletes are preparing since many months. There is no question of cancelling the event, he said.
The Indian Medical Association called for cancellation of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon a couple of days before, however, Singh had said that the event would go on as per schedule.
“They’ve issued a warning, and they’re right. It’s a concern, but we still have 10 days to go, and air quality might improve,” he had said. “To reduce pollutants, roads will be sprayed with salt water, and vehicles will be off roads 12 hours prior to event, and hopefully improved air conditions will bring better running experience for participants.”
There are arrangements for 2 medical camps, 100 nurses, 75 doctors, and a hospital. Water sprinkling will help settle the dust.
Indian Medical Association Airtel Delhi Half Marathon to be cancelled
Since the national capital region got engulfed in smog, there has been a question mark over the event. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) asked for cancellation of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon due to the toxicity in the air. Deadly smog has engulfed Delhi for the past fortnight. .
Huge public support for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, considered as one of the coveted races world wide, attracts top talent. As many as 30000 people participated in the Delhi race in 2015. Organizers of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, Procam International, are happy with the interest in the event. This time 35,000 people are participating in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. This is 1000 more than the last year. The Delhi race has star athletes taking part in the 2017 edition. Stars include World Champion Geoffrey Kirui and 10,000 meter Olympics gold medalist Almaz Ayana. Winners make $27,000.