Gold Silver Reports — Car-Free Day Reaches End of The Road — A right idea in a wrong city has met its inevitable end. Almost a year on from introducing residents to the concept of a car-free day , the concept is being shelved.
As ironies go, this happens just over a month from Gurujam, the 20-hour gridlock of July 28 and 29 that saw cars packing every inch of road space in the city , stuck in a monster jam. Not that CarFree Day (every Tuesday) was actually car-free. Only parking wasn’t allowed on certain stretches, but the idea was to promote use of public transport when the concept was launched on September 22 last year.
Only one Car-free Day has been organised since Gurujam. Police concluded they could either utilise the cops for traffic management or deploy them in the selected corridors for a day . On an average, between 70 and 100 traffic policemen were stationed in the four Car-Free Day stretches every Tuesday and also road safety officers. This, when the traffic “You cannot expect us to deploy 25 to 30% of our force in just four corridors, and ignore the rest of the city. Plus, it was not solving its purpose if not private cars, people were using cabs,“ said a senior traffic police officer.
Organisers realised they needed more logistics and infrastructural support to continue with the campaign. But in the absence of funds, and public transport, even their zeal had taken a dip.
“The thing is, nobody is paying for it, and it is a voluntary movement so funds do become a problem. But we will still urge people to not use cars,“ said one of the organisers.
Manpreet Singh, who cycles to work for all but four months of the year (summer and the rains), says, “Gurgaon as a city isn’t really geared up for this concept because of a lack of public transport. Whatever public transport is there is crumbling.“
So it wasn’t that Car-Free Day wasn’t a good idea. It would have succeeded had Gurgaon been given quality alternatives when it comes to their daily commute. — Neal Bhai Reports