Citizen journalists share their experiences of going car free
Gurgaon is now a ‘no-car zone’ on Tuesdays
In July this year when a first-of-its-kind initiative in India was taken by Hyderabad Software Exports Association (HYSEA), in collaboration with Telangana’s information technology (IT) and transport departments to make “every Thursday” of a week a “car-free day” in IT corridor of Cyberabad region of Hyderabad. Now, in an attempt to reduce congestion and encourage people to use non- motorised and public transport modes like buses, metro, cycling and walking, Gurgaon sought inspiration from Cyberabad. This is how the Millennium City launched “car-free Tuesdays” from 7am to 7pm, that will start on September 22 which is also observed as “World Car free Day”. Gurgaon’s “car-free Tuesdays” is an initiative of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), and Gurgaon Traffic Police, with support from NASSCOM, Embarq India, Raahigiri Foundation and Rapid Metro.
The main objective of the move is to encourage people to use alternative modes of transport like cycling, metro and walking and ask them to shun there pollution emitting cars for a day in week. For launching the campaign, the authorities have identified four major corridors to ensure efficient implementation of the initiative. These corridors are DLF Cyber city, Cyber Park Area, Golf Course Road and Electronic City in Udyog Vihar IV. According to figures with the Traffic police, more than 350,000 people are employed in Gurgaon’s corporate sector and more than 70,000 cars travel on these four corridors every day.
Plans in place
It will be the responsibility of the Gurgaon Police to make all these corridors free from on street parking, for which they have employed 20 cranes to tow away the cars that are parked on roads. Parking will be available only at Cyber Park and other institutional and commercial parking spaces mainly off street parking sites in the area. To improve last mile connectivity and feeder service, Haryana Roadways and mini bus service operator shuttle.com, have agreed to provide shuttle service on car-free days at major metro stations like HUDA City Centre, Sikanderpur and Indusland Bank Cyber City and from Kapashera border to the four IT corridors. Gurgaon’s example of “car-free Tuesdays” is a good and much-awaited beginning in the fight against rising air pollution in the urban areas. Delhi, being the capital of the country, should start thinking of taking such initiatives.
Usman Nasim, CSE
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