After Delhi’s odd-even experiment, a town in Arunachal Pradesh has fixed the seventh of every month as a vehicle-free day in a bid to breathe easier.
But the Lohit district administration has restricted its “walk or cycle” order to government officials of district headquarters Tezu. It hopes to “set an example” for the 50,000 people of the town to follow.
Urban Arunachal Pradesh, though sparsely populated, suffers from vehicular congestion. Traffic snarls, sometimes up to five hours long, are usual in twin capitals Itanagar and Naharlagun.
“We did not want to be seen as enforcers. It is always better to set the benchmark for the general people to follow for the cause of the environment and personal health,” Lohit deputy commissioner Danish Ashraf told HT from Tezu on Sunday.
The order was issued on Friday but announced on World Environment Day.
“I have requested all government officers and employees to observe the vehicle-free day on Tuesday (June 7) and the seventh of every month thereafter. We hope to increase the number of such days per month,” Ashraf said.
Apart from ensuring cleaner air, the vehicle-free day is also expected to cut down on government expenditure on fuel.
The no-vehicle day has been relaxed for employees, particular for women, with health issues. Emergency duty has also been exempted.
“The circular also does not apply to magistrates and police personnel, but their personal choice of using bicycles will be appreciated,” Ashraf said.