NGO Embarq India, one of the organisers of car-free day in Gurgaon, has prepared a nine-page report on the initiative. The report deals with the impact of the campaign, the way forward and why it is needed in other congested cities of the country.
Car-free day is observed in Gurgaon every Tuesday. On the day, people are urged not to use cars on four commercial stretches — DLF Cyber City, Golf Course Road, the stretch from Huda City Centre Metro station to Subhash Chowk and Electronic City in Udyog Vihar.
Sources said the Haryana government may soon organise car-free days in other cities as well.
According to the report prepared by Embarq India, problems such as rampant unauthorised parking, congestion and soaring pollution levels led to the need for organising car-free day.
Regarding the success of the initiative, the report states that there was a 25-30% reduction in car use on the four corridors.
The impact was also seen on pollution levels. The PM 2.5 (particulate matter) readings near Cyber Park on Netaji Subhash Road was recorded at 150 micrograms per cubic metre during the peak hours on September 22, the first car-free day. The same reading the previous day was at 190 micrograms per cubic metre.
“Car-free day began as an initiative to encourage commuters to give up use of personal vehicles, especially cars, and take up commuting in public transport, bicycling, walking and other alternative modes,” states the report.
The report, meanwhile, states that there has been a steep decline in the use of public transport in the city over the years.
In 2004, personal transport trips were 39%, but it increased to 60% in 2010. The share of public transport and cycles has dropped from 58% to 40%.
“When globally, the trend is towards reducing vehicular speed inside cities, our cities are adopting road designs to increase the speed of vehicles, thereby ruining the advantage of the short average trip length,” said Sarika Panda Bhatt, manager (cities and transport), Embarq India.
More than 45% of the trips in the city are between 0 and 2 km, 8% of the trips are between 2 and 6 km. The average trip length in Gurgaon is 7km, the report stated.
Safety on roads is also a major concern, states the report.
According to a data of the Gurgaon traffic police, the city reports more than one death per 1,000 people due to road accidents every day.
The major highways that cut across the city add to the accident risk. Of all the accidents, 60% take place on National Highway-8 and over 40% of those injured are pedestrians and cyclists.
Embarq will soon present the report to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, city authorities and other political leaders like the Gurgaon MP.