In an effort to reduce pollution and noise, a ‘Green Zone' was inaugurated at the Chettinad Health City premises near here on Friday.

Inaugurating the zone M.A.M.R. Muthiah, Chancellor's representative, said under this programme no motor cars would be allowed inside the zone. All the vehicles will have to be parked in an assigned area. Battery operated carts, scooters and bicycles would be provided for transporting the passengers and for the relatives of patients and the students studying in the hospital.

A total of 250 bicycles have been provided for the visitors and students. Mr Muthiah said on a trial basis a few bicycles were introduced a few months ago. “Initially we thought that the bicycles would be stolen or its parts would be removed. But to our surprise not even a screw was removed from the bicycles. Relatives of many patients preferred to use the bicycles than any other mode of transport,” he said.

With a good response from the visitors and the students the hospital authorities have decided to add 100 more bicycles on the campus. The maintenance of bicycles has been entrusted to a women's self help group, he said.

Ramesh Babu, CEO, CSSH, said Chettinad Academy of Research and Education (CARE) is launching a new international research fellowship and it would invest Rs 20 crore to augment research. The mandate would be to carry out research in biotechnology, nanotechnology, genomics of infectious and lifestyle diseases, he said.