Pedalling in support of odd-even

A 64-year-old man has set out for Amritsar on his cycle in support of Delhi government's odd-even scheme. “One day, we all will have to come down to cycling,” Delhi resident Surendra Sharma told Deccan Herald, expressing concern over alarming level of air pollution in the city.

He said traffic was a breeze when the odd-even scheme was in place last month. “Roads were less congested and people didn’t encounter traffic jams. It was easier to reach rail stations and hospitals. There was a lot of comfort,” Sharma said, an hour before he headed out to the election- bound Punjab. Aam Aadmi Party is set to make a debut in the forthcoming Punjab Assembly elections.

Benefit to all
The odd-even scheme benefitted not only the senior citizens but also an ‘average’ Delhiite, Sharma said. The odd-even scheme for rationing of road space banned private cars on alternate days, based on their licence plate numbers.

When asked whether he is an AAP member, he said, “It’s an inner calling. I am only about to make a small beginning.”

But he added that he is a supporter of AAP and wants the party to do well in the Punjab elections. Sharma set out on his cycle from Nagar Nigam School near Subhash Park in east Delhi’s Krishna Nagar on Friday noon.

“I should be able to come back to Delhi within 15-20 days,” he said. Altogether, he will cover a distance of about 900 kilometres.

“I have cycled for years, from my house in Krishna Nagar, Delhi – 51 to Karol Bagh,” Sharma said. “I used to work at a garment shop.”

He said he has support of his family in his fight for “environmental protection”. “I have their backing. They are happy that I am attempting a thing like this,” he said. Delhi government introduced fortnight-long odd-even car curbs in January and April to reduce vehicular pollution.

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