CAUSES : Letís walk a little more

As the cities all over the nation get choked by the increasing smoke and pollution, decision makers are baffled as to how this situation can be controlled. The odd even formula promoted by the Delhi government already has seen many violations, even though itís still in the initiation stage. Officially, all cars need to have the latest Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate, but that too, is often ignored. Making it mandatory for public transport vehicles to run on CNG has done its bit to ease the situation, but itís not enough.

So why donít we just walk? Agreed this may not be possible when there are large commutes to work, but one can start small. If you usually drive down to the local station, try walking there instead, or maybe even cycling. If your work place isnít too far from your residence, but still too far to walk, cycle there. Itís not just good for the environment, itíll do you heaps of good too. No excuses for not getting time to exercise. You can literally work out on your way to office.

How many times do we take out our cars to drive down to the local grocery? Is it really necessary? The short walk would do you much more good than the few extra minutes youíve spent on it. And the air around you will be a little fresher for that.

Forget on the individual level. On the larger front too, some areas can be marked as walk/cycle only zones. Or maybe cars could be allowed only on certain times of the day. This has been done successfully in many European cities, so why not in India? We do have pedestrian only zones in most hill stations, especially the mall roads, and people flock there not just for the scenery, but also for the fresh air. Even at home, if Matheran can be largely car free, and Fazilka in Punjab can be proud to call itself ďIndiaís First Car Free CityĒ, why canít the others try?

It might not be possible to have car free roads. But if there could be dedicated lanes for cyclists, or earmarked times when there is no entry for vehicles on certain stretches of roads,maybe on Sundays like the ďHappy StreetsĒ and ďRaahgiriĒ initiatives, we could breathe a little easier in our cities, and feel happier walking around town. Letís cycle an extra mile; letís walk a little more.

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