Govt to target gen-next: Children should shun family vehicle on car-free days

Govt to target gen-next: Children should shun family vehicle on car-free days

Students who go to schools in their family cars may also be targeted through advertisements by the Delhi government as part of its efforts to encourage people to give up private cars for at least one day in a month for clean air.

Officials said as part of the “Car Free Day” campaign the attempt is not only to approach adults but also their children to contribute to environment.

Transport Minister Gopal Rai said: “We want the next generation to be sensitised on the need to use public transport.”

The department may not immediately write to schools or the Education Department to involve students using own transport for school but the awareness campaign on “Car-Free Day” in the coming weeks would also focus on involving school kids, said an official. 

“We plan to tap the school children early. A child who doesn’t use public transport during schooling days may hesitate to use it later in life as well,” said an official.

For this, may be, schools need to help car-using students to pay and use school buses on the day they want to give up own transport, he said.

“A top MNC executive once said the only time his kid travels in a bus is when he is ferried from an airport terminal to the aircraft,” he said, narrating an incident which sparked the idea of sensitising students using own transport in school travel.

Rai said after three localised “Car-Free Day” events, the transport department wants to observe a city-wide campaign on January 22 when Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will also come to office on a cycle.

He said some sceptics are looking for immediate gains from the awareness campaign.
“The initiative is aimed at involving the community in cleaning the air. The public participation and response to the event is growing every month which is a big indicator that we are moving in the right direction,” said Rai.

Initial data collected by Centre for Science and Environment after the Dwarka event on November 22 showed a fall in particulate pollution during the event, compared to busy stretches. The government had termed it as a success.

The minister said efforts were also being made to make travel in public transport more comfortable, cost-effective and fast.

“We are planning to bring in bi-articulated buses which are almost the length of two buses. These long buses shall run on major roads and fed by smaller buses picking up passengers from colonies,” Rai said.

After the launch of the event from October 22 in Red Fort area, the November 22 event saw a new element of people forming a human chain in the Dwarka event, besides mass cycling.

After the initial hiccups, the AAP government got support of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung in launching the “Car-Free Day” on October 22 which coincided with Dussehra.

It has planned an ambitious entire city car free day for the January 22, 2016 event.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has appealed to the Delhiites to come out and support the initiative.

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