February 7, 2016 9:52:38 am
With Chandigarh to go car-free on February 28 for seven hours, environmental experts, while welcoming the initiative, say that much more is required to curb pollution in the city.
In a meeting held Friday, the UT Administration had decided to observe a car-free day once in a month, in which the use of private vehicles will be banned throughout the city from 7 am to 2 pm.
Dr Harminder Pal Singh, Head, Department of Environment Studies, Panjab University, told Chandigarh Newsline Saturday that fewer cars on the roads would help in controlling pollution. “That is possible only when the public transport system in the city is convenient. The administration should work in that direction.”
He added that present bank policies in India made it easy for anyone to purchase cars. “In abroad, 80 per cent of the car cost is borne by the owner, while the rest is financed by the bank. The policy is totally opposite here. The administration should discourage residents from buying more cars.”
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Dr Ravindra Khaiwal, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, PGI, said that there was a need to find out the major sources of pollution in the city and devise strategies accordingly.
When asked how the car-free day would be beneficial, he said, “It is a good step. It will create awareness.”
Recently, PGI and Panjab University (PU) jointly started a study on air pollution in the city.
Experts also believe that the administration should promote the use of e-rickshaws in the city. “Cycles and e-rickshaws will aid in pollution control,” said Dr Suman Mor, an environmental expert from PU.
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