Cycling enthusiasts to shun cars next week

With commutes by private cars becoming longer by the day in an increasingly congested city, many citizens are turning back to the humble bicycle or different modes of public transport.

In the first week of 2011, around 40-50 people from across the city will voluntarily observe a car-free week. The lot, mainly comprising working professionals, will cycle to work. Those who cannot will resort to commuting by buses and trains. The intention is to come together with like-minded people and spread the message of eco-friendly transport in general and cycling in particular.

"The car-free week is an event to showcase the feasibility of low eco footprint modes of transport such as bicycles and mass transit (public buses and trains). The advantages include decongestion of roads, freeing up of parking space, benefiting the environment and staying healthy," reads the initiative's draft concept note penned by 35-year-old Abhishek Daga. He is the owner of Open Source Technologies, a BPO in Kalbadevi, and a cycling enthusiast.

One of the participants in this initiative is Hema Koppikar, a teacher at Aditya Birla World Academy. She travels between Matunga and Tardeo every day. "I have always been enthusiastic about cycling. As a teacher, I wanted to motivate my students to take up the cause of the environment. Already, I cycle to work once in a week. I would have liked to do it every day, but I also have to pick up my son on the way home. The idea of a car-free week seemed attractive, because it is a collective and yet voluntary action of like-minded people in the interest of the environment and public health," she said.

Another participant, sales and marketing professional Vishal Sharma, who owns a car and even drives it on some days to work, said, "At the end of the day, more cars only affect the car drivers, as they congest roads and cause pollution."

Published: Friday, Dec 31, 2010, 0:04 IST
By Akshay Deshmane | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA