The city celebrated its second car-free day on Thursday. The RWA federation and officials implemented the initiative in the city’s upscale neighbourhoods of Raj Nagar, Kavi Nagar, Sanjay Nagar, Govindpuram and Shastri Nagar.
Car-free day in Ghaziabad is celebrated on 10th of every month and for better traffic management and engaging citizens, officials have decided to pick neighbourhoods according to the zones.
The day started with a street play outside the Kavi Nagar Ramlila Ground. The theatre group talked about how to bring down the use of cars for a day and also to abstain from blowing horns over traffic intersections and during traffic jams.
“It is observed that citizens keep their ignition on even if they are stuck in long traffic snarls or while waiting at the traffic signal. The theatre artistes urged vehicle owners to turn the
ignition off and to abstain from using repeated horns at traffic signals. Students and children also held a rally on Wednesday to spread awareness among the residents,” said Colonel TP Tyagi (retired), chairman of the Ghaziabad RWA federation.
“Although the Kavi Nagar zone was the focus area, our volunteers in other zones are also spreading the message in their respective areas,” Tyagi added.
For the day, the federation prepared 1,000 stickers scribbled with ‘I am willing for carpooling’.
“These stickers were pasted on the vehicles after car owners agreed and gave permission to do so. This will create awareness. Our efforts for car-free day are gaining momentum and people have started to recognise the day,” said Ajay Jain, another member.
This time, the district administration roped in buses from UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) and even buses from private operators for use by daily commuters arriving from internal areas.
“We have roped in eight buses to ferry passengers to the Kaushambi Metro station for a nominal charge of Rs. 10. Our buses were stationed at Ramlila Ground Kavi Nagar, Sector 23 Raj Nagar, Govindpuram PAC and Shastri Nagar. Last month too we had provided our buses to make the car-free day a success,” said AK Srivastava, additional regional manager of UPSRTC, Kaushambi.
“It is in the interest of the city. We have also roped in 8 buses. We plan to extend all help in the coming months,” said Sunil Sharma from Alt to Noida Sector 37 private bus operators’ association.
Volunteers and citizens also joined the efforts and urged car drivers to abstain from using their cars for a day in an effort to bring down pollution levels in Ghaziabad.
“Ghaziabad is witnessing high levels of pollution and city residents must come forward to help. We are doing our part and hope more residents will come forward to support the initiative,” said Sunita Bhatia, Gulmohar Enclave resident from Nehru Nagar.
The officials of traffic police, civil defence and volunteers from the Ghaziabad RWA federation arrived in large numbers to appeal to citizens to abstain from use of cars in order to create awareness about the rising pollution levels in the city.
“The day was observed in Kavi Nagar zone this time. Like the previous one, our traffic officials arrived on bicycles from police lines to spread the message. The civil defence volunteers have also come to support the initiative,” said Amar Singh, superintendent of police (traffic), Ghaziabad.
The next car-free day, on April 10, will be observed in the Indirapuram zone.