Starting 22 September, in Gurgaon it will be car-free day every Tuesday
from 7 am to 7 pm. Collaborating in this initiative are Gurgaon Administration,
Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Gurgaon Traffic Police and Gurgaon
Municipal Corporation, with support from NASSCOM, Embarq India, Raahgiri
Foundation and Rapid Metro. September 22 is observed as World Car-Free Day.
The initiative is expected to encourage people to use alternative modes
of transport and in the process also free the city roads from congestion. Joint
Commissioner of Police Bharti Arora said that with one lakh new cars being
registered every year in Gurgaon, this was the best time for the city to take
up the ‘car free’ challenge.
Four major IT corridors have been identified to make the campaign more
concentrated – namely DLF Cyber City, Cyber Park area, Golf Course Road and
Electronic City. These have the heaviest traffic flow in the city. The move
will be enforced by the Gurgaon Police, who have sourced 20 cranes to be employed
in all four corridors to tow away cars parked on roadsides. Parking will be available
only at Cyber Park and other institutional and commercial parking spaces.
Rapid Metro will increase the frequency of trains to 3–3.5 minutes, which
will mean 225 trains and reduced waiting time for users. Feeder buses will be
provided from major metro stations like Huda City Centre, Sikanderpur and Indus
Bank Cyber City as also from Kapashera border to the major IT hubs of the city.
So, while Rapid Metro, buses and auto rickshaws will make up the public
transport facilities, people will hopefully also consider non-motorised
modes like cycling, walking and cycle rickshaws.
The initiative is timely and much-needed. Anyone commuting in the
national capital region can see for themselves the havoc that is happening on a
daily basis. There is no longer one single rush hour – every hour, from 8 in
the morning until 8 in the evening, is rushed, unpredictable, nerve-wracking. Team
CauseBecause has been working on various advocacy options to create and spread
awareness about going alternative in commuting – from getting a particular series
of vehicles off the road on any given day (for example, a batch of cars with even-numbered
license plates one day, a batch with odd-numbered license plates another day),
to having one day of the week as ‘no driving day’. The Gurgaon example is a good
one to begin with and Delhi must follow suit—sooner rather than later or never.