Municipality to develop green cover on highway

July 24, 2014

Soon, people travelling on Chennai-Bangalore Highway will enjoy better green cover on a portion of it.

The Poonamallee municipality has set the ball rolling for a project to develop a green belt along a four-km stretch.

As part of its efforts to beautify the stretch and prevent illegal dumping of waste on the roadside, the municipality has joined hands with corporates to survey the area.

Chennai:A core committee, comprising corporates and municipal officials, has been formed to chalk out an action plan to beautify the stretch between Doosan company and the BSNL office falling under the local body’s jurisdiction.

The beautification project will include developing the greenery and illumination along the roadsides.

Officials of the municipality said estimates are being prepared to develop a green belt. The number of encroachments is also being identified.

Municipal commissioner B.V. Surendra Sha said the local body has sought the assistance of industries in and around Poonamallee to take up the beautification of the stretch as a CSR initiative.

Residents of Seneerkuppam and Poonamallee want the local body to speed up the project as garbage is being dumped along the Cooum river and road margins.

“We are planning to use 10 metres of space on roadsides for the project and also rope in corporates to maintain the facilities,” he said.

The work will be completed in two months with the consent of the National Highways Authority of India. The municipality also plans to develop green cover in Poonamallee at a cost of Rs. 5 lakh.

Source: The Hindu

Metro rail to reduce pollution level in Lucknow

August 19, 2013

Priyanka Singh, TNN |


LUCKNOW: The much ambitious project of state government may prove beneficial in improving the air quality of the city. Once started, metro would become an efficient and most popular medium of public transport surpassing all other public transport means so far. The environment which was getting polluted due to harmful emissions from private vehicles would reduce once metro rail becomes operational.According to the survey done by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the dangerous gases which were destroying and polluting the environment would get reduced by almost 41 thousand and 430 tonnes. Experts believe that this would help in improving the air quality of the city by making atmosphere cleaner. The DMRC has even recommended this report in its DPR (detailed project report) submitted to the metro cell of Lucknow last month.

It is believed that once metro rail starts functioning, it would decrease the number of autos, tempos, buses and cars running on city roads considerably. It is estimated that on the North-South corridor (from Amausi airport to Munshipulia) alone, about 62 thousand trips of private and commercial vehicles would come to an end. people riding on cars, autos, tempos would start preferring metro instead as it is a faster and cheaper means of transport to far off places. This route is to be constructed in the first phase only beginning from December this year.

Different types of pollutants causing harm to the environment are Carbon monoxide, Nitrogen oxide, Sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide etc. Out of all these, carbon monoxide is found in abundance and hence, much attention has to be given to reduce this pollutant from the environment. The smoke that was released from private and commercial vehicles would get reduced to a great extent post metro becomes operational. In 2019, when the entire train starts moving on North-South corridor, it shall be bale to curtail about 1498.33 tonne of carbon monoxide in one year itself.

Most significantly, the carbon dioxide level would decrease by about 38 thousand 579 tonnes in the first year of operation. The levels of pollutants would subsequently decrease in the years 2020 and 2021 in a gradual manner.




End cycle of vulnerability

May 10, 2013

Atul Mathur , Hindustan Times

New Delhi,

A bicycle is one of most sought-after gifts among children. But once they are older, moving to new bikes and later cars is considered a natural transition. In Delhi, we often see cyclists jostling for space among cars, two-wheelers, buses and commercial vehicles. Statistics prove that they and the pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users.

A bicycle in India is considered a poor man’s commute. In the West and even some Asian countries, bicycles are one of the most popular modes of transport among the executive class. While in countries such as Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and China, 20-40% of the total trips are done on bicycles, this number in Delhi is less than 5%.

“Yes, carpenters and gardeners can use the bicycle, but not ‘us’ (officers or other members of the growing middle class),” observed Gerhard Menckhoff, principal urban transport specialist and consultant, World Bank.

“A RITES survey revealed that of all the journeys undertaken by Delhiites in a day, nearly 50% are less than 6km long. It infers that there is a lot of scope to promote cycling,” said Nalin Sinha, a transport expert and founder member of Delhi Cycling Club. The club is among a few organisations trying to make cycling and cycle-sharing popular.

Experts believe that in a city like Delhi, where people largely depend on their private vehicles to travel shorter distances, cycle and cycle-sharing can offer a reliable transport system. But Delhi lacks the basic infrastructure and atmosphere conducive for cycle enthusiasts to make that shift. No wonder that while the percentage of households that own two-wheelers and cars has jumped, cycle ownership has come down by few percentage points in the past decade.

“Cycles provide last-mile integration from source. Also, a good cycle parking infrastructure is required close to public transport. A good network of streets specially designed for non-motorised transport and provision for shorter connection is important,” said Anuj Malhotra, an expert in non-motorised traffic with Centre for Green Mobility.

Experts believe that Delhi is now passing through a phase seen by several European and American cities in the last decades of the 20th century. Earlier, of the 3.5 lakh people coming to Times Square in New York, 90% would drive cars. But in the past five years, New York has been transformed from a city of private vehicles to a bustling pedestrian and cycle-friendly city.

“The footpaths have been meticulously redesigned. There are traffic islands at strategic points for people to wait for vehicles to pass before crossing the road. Car parking has been designed in a way to keep cyclists and pedestrians away from the moving traffic,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner, department of transportation, New York City.

“Providing adequate and safe walking and cycling infrastructure are the primary obligations of any city government and municipal authority. The government will have to spend only a fraction of its flyover or elevated road budget to develop these facilities,” Sinha said.


He wants special bicycle lanes

Praveen Kumar, 21
Ashok Nagar resident
Every day, 21-year-old Praveen Kumar Sharma pedals for over three hours. His workplace, a small roadside car seat cover shop, at Kashmere Gate is nearly 12km from his home in east Delhi’s Ashok Nagar.

Kumar says not only does he save transportation expenses, cycling also helps him keep fit. “Of course, I’m physically fit because of this daily workout session. People pay thousands to go to a fancy gym and to cycle for a few minutes. I do it for free,” Sharma says, sporting a big smile. “Expenses are increasing day by day. Even if I save a few hundred rupees, it does help my family sustain in this otherwise expensive city,” said Sharma, who lives with his parents and brother.

But what about the daily rendezvous with destiny? Sharma smiles wryly and says it’s a risk he has to take. “Have you seen how people drive cars and motorcycles? They don’t care about other cars or motorbikes, leave alone cyclists like me. In the past six months, two motorcyclists have bumped into me. And the worst part is they accused me for the accident,” Praveen says.

Kumar, a native of Faizabad near Lucknow, has heard about specialised bicycle lanes in other cities of India and abroad and wishes that he and thousands like him too had such a facility here.

“Cycles get cowed down in front of bigger vehicles. Bicycle lanes will be of big help and will also help cut down transportation time,” he said.
Ritam Halder

Promoting non-motorised transport

Walk to work initiative
One fine day, the CEOs and top executives of many of Gurgaon’s IT-BPO firms left their swanky cars behind and chose to walk or cycle to work. The reason: They wanted to promote non-motorised transport (NMT) in the city.
This ‘walk to work’ initiative was organised by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).

The initiative has sent the ball rolling on the issue. A resident group on NMT has already taken up with the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon the creation of suitable infrastructure such as cycling tracks and proper footpaths in the city. The group has been holding private workshops and pitching for NMT, as a result of which the corporation is now working on a NMT plan for Gurgaon.

Source -


Interview – Manfred Neun -President (ECF) : ‘Cycling is the fastest as well as easiest means of transport’

May 10, 2013

Atul Mathur, Hindustan Times

Manfred Neun is the president of European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) since 2005. He is a key figure in the world of global cycling advocacy. Excerpts from an interview:

Can cycling become equally popular in hot and humid cities of south Asia?

The Dutch say ‘there is no such thing as bad cycling weather, only bad clothing’. Cycling in a city is a low-level physical activity. You don’t need to sweat if you go peacefully as you would do for walking. When you look at the map of cycle-friendly European cities, you will find some in all climates — from the snowy north of Finland, to the hot south of Spain or the more continental Germany.

 What efforts should the govt make to create an environment for cycling?

In Europe, the biggest trigger was political will. Once that is achieved,  first focus on making cycling safe in the city. Develop a decent and safe network of cycle paths and other bicycle infrastructure, such as parking. And finally, promote it through several campaigns.

How can we integrate cycling with public transport?

Cycling and public transport benefit from each other. Bicycles increase the reach of public transport: The 10-minutes’ catchment area of a bus stop grows by 15 times with bicycles. For good integration, there should be bike parking provisions at main stations. It should be easy to take your cycle with you on public transport.

How beneficial are cycling-sharing systems?

Bicycle-sharing schemes are a cheap and efficient way to provide 24×7 public transport. They also give cycling a boost. Paris, for instance, saw an impressive rise in its use after their Velib bicycle-sharing system was introduced in 2007. Now 75,000 people use the service every day.

What are the benefits of cycling?

From an individual point of view, it saves you money, makes you healthier and saves time. But for the society, the benefits are even higher. Less cars mean less congestion, less pollution, and safer roads. Cycling infrastructure is also much cheaper. Surveys show that the main reason for cycling is convenience as bicycles are the fastest and easiest means of transport.