In Gurugram, part of parking lot reclaimed to make space for bicyles

Wheels of change The project was inaugurated by Gurugram Police Commissioner Sandeep Khirwar on Sunday. Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: de20 cycle

A first-of-its-kind pocket parking project in India, ‘Seeds For Change’, was launched in Sector 29 here on Sunday to promote non-motorised transport in the city. As part of the programme, a portion of the parking lot in the commercial sector was reclaimed to make space for parking 40 bicycles and a sitting area for visitors.

The project was launched by Nagarro Software and research organisation WRI India in co-ordination with the local administration. Udaan NGO and NASSCOM Foundation are also partners in the project.

‘Move people, not cars’

It was inaugurated by Police Commissioner Sandeep Khirwar and Dr. Dario Hidalgo, Director, Integrated Transport for WRI Ross Centre For Sustainable Cities.

According to the officials, over three lakh cars enter the city every day, while an equal number of cars operate within the city. The project aims to show how transportation can be successful if the focus is on moving people and not cars.

“We are hoping about increasing our traffic police force by about 500. We are also initiating strict drives against illegal parking. Consistent efforts will definitely bring about change,” said Mr. Khirwar.

According to Sarika Panda Bhatt, manager (cities and transport), WRI India, the parking initiative would promote urban design across the country. She added that the reason behind its potential success was that it was in the form of small inserts in the existing infrastructure design that did not require much alteration or cost.

“Just as Raahgiri Day, which was initiated in Gurugram three years ago as a small event, has now become a movement across 40 cities in India, this project will scale to various corners of the country,” she said.

Better, safer cities

Manas Fuloria, Co-Chair of NASSCOM Regional Council, Haryana, and CEO of Nagarro Software, said: “The project has been named ‘Seeds For Change’ because it is a small seed that will definitely germinate into better and safer cities and public spaces.

“Coordination among departments and an overarching governing body is essential for implementing any project. Officials need to prioritise mobility as a city’s basic infrastructural need and work together. In Gurugram, a good bus network can easily replace the existing fleet of polluting shared autos and other private modes of transport”, said Dr. Hidalgo, who gave a presentation on the issue of transport.Other senior officials agreed that a good public transport system was required in the city.

Amit Khatri, Additional Municipal Commissioner, said one of the focus areas of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority was mobility. He said 500 buses were expected to be rolled out by the year-end.

“We are geared towards meeting this deadline and also looking at other initiatives to reduce congestion,”Mr. Khatri added.

The event concluded with the consensus that immediate and efficient measures needed to be employed to reduce traffic congestion in Gurugram and better coordination among departments was key to achieving this.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 9:01:32 PM |

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