Gurgaon: Private groups offer solutions this Car-Free Day

  • Snehil Sinha, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Oct 18, 2015 00:06 IST
Graffiti, highlighting the importance of using public transport, painted on the pillars of the Sikanderpur Metro station. (Abhinav Saha/HT photo)

Enthused by the idea of a car-free day, that is being planned on September 22, several private groups are now coming forward to fill the gaps in the public transport system by providing transport facility and mass transit options in the city.

While the fleet of cars being added to Gurgaon roads has been increasing every year, the road infrastructure has remained comparatively obsolete.

Till recently, infrastructure for non-motorised and public transport was not given much importance by Gurgaon authorities.

“The Haryana government developed an Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) for the Gurgaon-Manesar Urban Complex in 2010. The plan proposed measures for Gurgaon, where non-motorised trips, including those on foot, constituted about one-third of the total travel. Unfortunately, the plan has served primarily as a policy document since its creation,” says Amit Bhatt, strategy head, integrated urban transport at EMBARQ India and a resident of Gurgaon.

Making a unique case for Gurgaon, the demand for better public transport against the car-driven road design has begun not just from those who cannot afford to use cars but also from the more affluent section, who would rather use non-motorised transport than be stuck in traffic jams for hours in fancy cars.

This demand has prompted many private players to introduce transportation services for commuters. The rapid metro service and bus services such as, Ola and Meribus are examples of such solutions.

Several cab services also report better response from Gurgaon than from Delhi. The sale of cycles from most categories has also begun showing an upward trend in the past three to four years.

According to Pankaj Munjal, chairman and managing director, Hero Cycles, “Cycling is one of the most eco-friendly and healthier ways to commute, especially in today’s scenario where cities are increasingly facing the problem of higher volumes of traffic, infrastructural problems and pollution. We hope that initiatives such as the Car-Free Day will help to put the focus back on having better and more efficient cycling infrastructure in the country.”

“The years following 2013 have been fruitful in making the concept of non-motorised transport popular in the city. Hopefully, the year ahead will see implementation of some new plans,” said Prabhat Aggarwal, founder of NMT cell in Gurgaon.

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