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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Chandigarh! Go car-free on September 23

UT administration said the initiative is just educative and not mandatory

chandigarh Updated: Sep 23, 2019 00:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
         

The Chandigarh administration has given a call to all residents to ditch their cars on Monday to highlight pollution caused by motorised vehicles and health benefits of adopting cycling.

Officials said the initiative is just educative and not mandatory.

It is part of World Car Free Day, which is celebrated in many cities across the world on September 22. As the day fell on Sunday, the UT decided to observe in on September 23.

The events, which vary by location, give motorists and commuters an idea of their locality with fewer cars. While projects along these lines had taken place from time to time starting with the 1973 oil crisis, it was only in 1994 that a structured call was made during an international conference in Spain. Chandigarh last participated in it in 2016.

The administration has urged all residents to “ditch your personal cars for a day” and commute to work or schools and colleges on bicycles or public transport or carpool. Traffic police will also educate people about the benefits of cycling.

An event, Chandigarh Pedal, will also be organised to promote public bike-sharing system in Chandigarh. It will begin at the Sector 17 Plaza at 9am. There are 12 points in the city that work as cycle docks. Cycles can be rented from any one of these points and returned to the other point. As many as 40 bicycles will be used for this demonstration.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, 3,000 people participate in a cyclothon organised by the traffic police along with Cyclegiri and Chandigarh Urban Festival. People walked, cycled and skated from the Plaza to other parts in Sector 17.  Punjabi comedian Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi was the chief guest.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

Chandigarh has the highest per capita ownership of motorised vehicles in the country.

As compared to 11.28 lakh people, the city has 11.62 registered vehicles

The city is also among 102 “non attainment” cities in the country, where the levels of air pollution remain higher than what is permissible.

Environmentalists say it is primarily due to vehicular growth in the city.

First Published: Sep 23, 2019 00:02 IST

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