On November 27, if you’re headed to south Mumbai in the morning, leave your car at home and hop on to a bicycle instead.
In an effort to generate awareness about reducing vehicular pollution and to promote fitness, the Greenmile Foundation in collaboration with the Baramati Welfare Organisation is organising a Car Free Day (India chapter) in south Mumbai from 7am to noon.
Starting from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a 20-km car-free zone going through Girgaum Chowpatty and ending at Fashion Street will host a 20 km bike-a-thon (bicycle race) and a 10km walk-a-thon (walking competition). The organisers have received the requisite permission from the traffic police.
“Compared to our western counterparts, we have not embraced the idea of alternative modes of commuting that help reduce both traffic and vehicular pollution. The Car Free Day, India Chapter, is an effort to reach out to car addicts in Mumbai to experience the city with fewer cars,” said Kalpesh Parekh, founder chairman, Greenmile Foundation.
Parekh added that air pollution accounts for close to eight lakh deaths across the country every year.
“Mumbai, which has close to 300 new cars added every day, is already at a high risk unless urgent steps are taken,” he added.Across the world, Car Free Day is observed on September 22 to encourage people to use public transport, organise car pools, ride a bicycle or walk to reach their respective destinations.
The Foundation plans to organise a car-free day once in three months in different parts of Mumbai before expanding to other cities across the country. “Apart from decongesting city roads, public transport and carpools for commuting will also result in the conservation of a lot of fuel,” said Sharmila Pawar, president, Baramati Welfare Organisation.