Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility This Indian City Ditches Cars Every Saturday to Protect the Planet | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise – Active Lifestyle Media

Follow or share

Active Lifestyle Media

Healthily LifestyleThis Indian City Ditches Cars Every Saturday to Protect the Planet | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise

This Indian City Ditches Cars Every Saturday to Protect the Planet | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise

[ad_1]

By Anuradha Nagaraj

CHENNAI, India, March 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Every Saturday, Shankar Yadav dusts off an old bike and pedals to work, reliving his carefree schooldays and hoping fellow Indians will join him in ditching cars to protect the planet.

In one of India’s most ambitious plans, Ranchi city’s “har shanviar, no car” — “every Saturday, no car” — campaign goes well beyond other towns that have banned cars from a few lanes for set hours of the weekend, but risked nothing more.

“We are a small city and studies have shown that most residents live within a 5-kilometer radius of their workplace, school, or markets,” Yadav, a deputy commissioner with the Ranchi Municipal Corporation, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Though there is no law to implement this idea, we are hoping that people will embrace it because it is very doable here. Barring the elderly, our analysis shows that most people can easily switch to a bicycle or walk.”

The scheme kicked off this month, a small-city initiative in a vast country that faces ever-worsening pollution.

Related Stories
June 5, 2019
Thomson Reuters Foundation

10 Facts You Should Definitely Know About Air Pollution

Ranchi is among many Indian cities trying new ways to tackle this worsening air quality — be it with pop-up cycle tracks, free cycle repair clinics, or pedestrian-only streets.

Akanksha, a first-time rider in Ranchi, said she enjoyed the ride and was “quite excited” by the eco-rationale, too.

“I did have to deal with the city traffic and the pollution, but am hoping as the idea catches on, these problems will get addressed,” said the music teacher, who goes by just one name.

“I think cycling with a guitar might be difficult — but I definitely wanted to set an example for my students.”

Related Stories
March 23, 2021

The Climate Crisis: What Is ‘Net Zero’ and How Do We Get There?

The cost of inaction is steep.

Bad air was linked to 1.24 million deaths, or 1 in 8 of those who died, in India’s latest nationwide pollution study.

Ranchi, the capital of eastern Jharkhand state with an urban population of 1.5 million, has ambient air pollution levels that are seven times higher than World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards, according to studies.

Related Stories
March 22, 2021

The 5 Biggest Takeaways From Bill Gates’ New Book on Climate Change

It has also been identified by the National Clean Air Programme as one of 122 “non-attainment cities” that consistently fall short of national standards.

“It is a welcome move and heartening to know that smaller cities are starting these initiatives,” said Sarika Panda, who set up the country’s first lasting car-free initiative in 2013.

“This is a good time to push for this switch as people are more aware and understand the need to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Related Stories
Oct. 23, 2018

$1 Billion Pledged for Climate Change Projects in Developing Countries

Changemakers

Ahead of launch, Ranchi built 50 bike stands where residents can rent wheels by the hour. Cycle tracks are due to follow.

While the city is compact, urban planners welcome even these small and “symbolic gestures” as they foster awareness and force authorities to improve facilities for walkers and cyclists.

Related Stories
Nov. 10, 2020

Here Are 17 Ways Joe Biden Can Kick-Start Climate Action When He Takes Office

Citing Shimla in northern Himachal Pradesh, home to one of India’s oldest pedestrian-only streets, researchers say both momentum and longevity are key to clean air in the long term.

“Any intervention that cuts air pollution is good but if there are many exceptions to the rule then there will be no benefits,” said Sarath Guttikunda, director of UrbanEmissions.Info, an independent research body.

“If we really have no cars running on the roads for 24 hours, it will make a difference. Otherwise, in small events like a no vehicle street for a day, it is difficult to measure change. They are just good awareness exercises.”

Related Stories
May 17, 2019

3 Ways People in Poverty Suffer the Most From Pollution

Yadav agrees it is too soon to crow about success — but says the early signs are promising and the goal is ambitious.

While precise data on the new scheme was not yet available, interest in cycling is rising.

In 2019, there were more than 9,000 people who had registered on the bike sharing app started by the civic body. Post COVID-19, many more have invested in bicycles, Yadav said.

Related Stories
June 5, 2020

12 Important Moments in the History of Climate Action: In Photos

“It is early days but government officials, politicians and prominent citizens are setting the example,” Yadav said.

“Besides pollution we are also linking it to a healthy lifestyle and the Indian government’s Cycle4Change challenge. A lot will depend on the enthusiasm of the city’s residents.”

(Reporting by Anuradha Nagaraj @AnuraNagaraj; editing by Lyndsay Griffiths. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

[ad_2]

Clink Here For The Original Source
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Leave a Reply