Delhi swaps `car` for `bicycle` for a day

New Delhi: With Delhi’s first car-free day being observed on the stretch connecting Red Fort to India Gate via Delhi Gate and ITO from 7am to 12 noon today, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led a cycle rally to encourage people to go green.

Kejriwal and his colleagues in the cabinet and other legislators were joined by over 100 cyclists in the event that aims to encourage people to use public transport.

“If we improve bus services and availability in Delhi, we will be able to contribute to this movement,” said Kejriwal, who rode bicycle from Red Fort to Bhagwan Das Marg and asked participants to make bicycle-riding a habit.

State Transport Minister Gopal Rai told ANI that the ministry is trying to make car-free movement a monthly event to create awareness.

The state government’s intensive campaign for traffic decongestion and reduction in air pollution, titled “Ab Bus Karen,” comes in the wake of rising air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The inspiration comes from Gurgaon, which held its first car-free day on September 22, known on the Internet as World Car Free Day, in a bid to lower pollution and emphasise on the need to promote use of cycle and carpooling.

Delhi has recently become the face of air pollution, which is caused mainly by industry and vehicular traffic, putting as many as 10,000 people at ‘premature death by breath’ risk per year.

With Delhi faring poor in the air quality ranking, numerous initiatives are being taken to control the city’s air pollution levels. The only problem existing is the lack of information on air quality and precautionary measures. The process of tackling this problem is incomplete till people are aware and are ensuring precautionary measures. (ANI)