It is expected to reduce the number of private vehicles on road: Transport Secretary

The State Transport Department will urge the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to lay cycling tracks along several major roads in the city so as to encourage alternative modes of clean transport, Transport Secretary M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda said here on Wednesday.

He told reporters after launching the Breathe Easy campaign jointly organised by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Concern India Foundation, Bharti Airtel and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) here.

He said Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses carried about 40 lakh passengers a day even as over two million two-wheelers and five-lakh cars were squeezed into the city roads. If separate cycle tracks were laid, a considerable load could be taken off the road as people would be motivated to ride bicycles for short distance travel, he said.

The Breathe Easy Campaign had been launched to encourage people use public transport and non-motor transport, Mr. Gowda said.

KSRTC Managing Director Gaurav Gupta said the corporation's comfortable buses, networking between Bangalore and other cities and towns, encouraged people to prefer a bus ride to their personal transport, he said.

Mr. Gupta said KSRTC had won several awards, including Golden Peacock Eco Innovation Award 2010, for adopting several green technologies such as using solar and LED lights, biofuel, construction of green buildings, rainwater harvesting and recycling water.

KSPCB Chairman A.S. Sadashivaiah said the board would compel all industries in the State to plant saplings on their premises. This worked out to 48,000 industrial units and at least 1.5 crore saplings.

Bandh benefit

He pointed out that on the day of the Bharat Bandh, air pollution had dipped considerably and carbon dioxide level came down by 77 per cent. Fewer private vehicles on road meant less pollution. Hence public transport should be encouraged, he said.

Dignitaries flagged off a bus that carried a message of the Breathe Easy campaign.

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