Along with three other cities, Visakhapatnam ranks as ‘A' category city for initiating measures for using non-motorised transport. The measures taken by the corporation like introducing ‘vehicle-free zones' and GVMC officials not using motor vehicles on Monday have been presented at a workshop on Institute of Transportation and Development Policy.

Three other cities implementing the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) project and ranked alongside Visakhapatnam are Kochi, Howrah and Ahmedabad.

The workshop was organised by UNDP, World Bank and the Union Urban Development ministry.

The workshop felt that use of motor vehicles should be reduced by 10 per cent from the present levels to reduce pollution. For this, use of bicycles, battery and solar-powered vehicles should be promoted, it was suggested. Municipal Commissioner B. Ramanjaneyulu who returned from the meeting said on Monday providing facilities for walkers in an effort to make people take up walking figured prominently in the workshop. Pedestrian rights should be protected by providing footpaths, water, benches and small parks to relax along the way.

It also was termed important in view of younger people lacking exercise, using motor vehicles for short distances and spending more time before TVs or computers. Also in schools, bicycling should be introduced as a physical activity, the workshop felt.

The World Bank had agreed, in principle, to extend assistance for a project on non-motorised vehicles. He said UNDP had already expressed readiness to support a low carbon mobility project for the city.

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